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Everything Forever Learning to See Timelessness Gevin Giorbran


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Everything Forever …

Everything Forever
Learning to See Timelessness
Gevin Giorbran

In this exhaustive masterpiece Gevin Giorbran gives us a unique and original "hypothesis of everything". From the big bang, or Alpha state, to the final Omega state, the universe is not winding down as the traditional explanation of the second law of thermodynamics is currently understood. Rather, the universe is going from one type of order, "grouping order" to another type, "symmetry order".

Time, energy, the forces of nature, and meaning are all a result of the universe moving toward its most probable future, a future of perfect balance.

According to Giorbran, energy is a product of imbalance, and time is simply the transformation of matter into the fullness of space symmetry.

Gravity can be understood as pockets of "time in reverse". Gravity represents our past pulling time backwards. The electromagnetic force represents the arrow of time moving toward the future. The opposite charges of the electron and proton are simply the tendency of these particles to seek balance. "Forces are simply the shapes of probability waves, and those shapes bond particles together, in groups, in lattices, in symmetries."

The past and the future are quantum potentials, and conscious beings are continually creating the most likely futures and the most likely, consistent pasts. Meaning arises as a result of the decoherence of these potential states.

"Everything Forever" is the most significant book concerning the nature of reality I've read in years. I highly recommend this book for those looking for a simple and elegant hypothesis of the infinite, meaningful universe.

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  • 1. Gevin Giorbran - born May 1960, died March 2008 Prior to 1998, Gevin Giorbran authored three books in which he de-scribed in detail how our universe eventually ends, as space expandsperfectly flat and time reaches absolute zero. In 1998, when astrophysi-cists discovered the expansion of the universe is in fact acceleratingtowards perfectly flat space, Gevin started work on the book you seebefore you now. Prior to his death he asked that I, Rob Bryanton, takeover the sale and promotion of his work.The ideas in this E-book took Gevin through almost ten years of re-search, writing and polishing, and a lifetime dedicated to the pursuit ofthis knowledge, to arrive at what you see before you. This pdf file has nocopy protection on it because my main interest is in getting these impor-tant and groundbreaking ideas out into the world. If you would like toown this book in either hard cover or paperback, or buy other productsrelated to this project, please visit . Orif you’d like to download your own copy of this pdf, please go . Enjoy the journey! Profits from the sale of Gevin’s work will go to the Gevin GiorbranMemorial Fund.
  • 2. Everything ForeverLearning to See Timelessness Gevin Giorbran Enchanted Puzzle Publishing
  • 3. Science / Personal Growth / Spirituality First Edition Copyright ! 2007 by Gevin GiorbranAll rights reserved. No part larger than five paragraphs of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission from the publisher. Soft Cover ISBN 10: 0-9791861-0-2 ISBN 13: 978-0-9791861-0-3 Hard Cover ISBN 10: 0-9791861-1-0 ISBN 13: 978-0-9791861-1-0 Library of Congress Catalog Control Number: 2006910726 All major contributing Artists and Photographers materials used by permission, all rights reserved. Copyright ! Kerry Mitchell Copyright ! Mike Levin Copyright ! Paul DeCelle Copyright ! Charles Beck Copyright ! Carol Taylor Copyright ! Doug Harrington Copyright ! Ken Libbrecht Copyright ! Michel Meynsbrughen Published by Enchanted Puzzle Publishing
  • 4. This book contains fractal art from some of the best fractal artists in the world.Sincerest thanks to all the contributing Artists and Photographers, including:Kerry MitchellPaul DeCelle www.fractalus.comDamien JonesDoug Harrington www.fractalarts.comMike Levin www.mikelevin.comCharles Beck Taylor www.caroltaylorquilts.comKen Libbrecht www.snowcrystals.comMichel Meynsbrughen Author’s Website: General thanks to NASA scientists, photographers, and artists for your work and inspiration. Dedicated to my Grandparents Special Thanks to: Mary, Robert, Quentin, Emma, Dennett, John and Rob.
  • 5. Foreword If someone picks up this book and reads only this one page I want them to be leftknowing what is to come in the future. In 1998 astrophysicists discovered that theexpansion of our universe is accelerating. We all know the universe is acceleratingaway from the dense and hot conditions of the big bang, but what are we now acceler-ating towards? Recently physicists are beginning to state openly that time ends in thefuture with our universe evolving into empty space. Of course empty space is theultimate zero, the bottom end to all physics. If our universe reaches zero all space willbe stretched perfectly flat and no matter will remain. A single unified space will thenextend infinitely in all directions. So is this final space the ultimate nothingness?Actually many physicists and mathematicians think of zero as the most ordered stateof all possibilities. Zero is balance. Zero is perfect symmetry. But what is this ulti-mate zero doing in our future? The answer is that zero is timelessness. Absolute zero isthe timeless quantum superposition of all the universes that exist. Zero is the greatsum of all. An ultimate zero has always existed, and will always exist. Zero is the nativestate of existence, or what the physicist David Bohm, Einstein’s favorite student, calledImplicate order. It sounds odd at first but we are inside zero. Today in science the second law of thermodynamics suggests our single universe isbecoming increasingly disordered with time. Many scientists claim our universe iswinding down and dying of disorder. It is certainly true that entropy, the measure ofspent energy, is always increasing. However, half of the second law is wrong. Ouruniverse is not becoming increasingly disordered with time. Quite the contrary, we areheaded for zero, and zero is a powerful kind of order. The timeless zero in our future is the internal complexity of everything and theouter simplicity of nothing at the same time. There cannot be the simplicity of thesingle whole without all the inner complexity of universes that enfold into and createzero. What zero is not, is nonexistence. As Parmenides said, nonexistence cannot be.There is no state more extreme, either less than or more than the perfect zero. Zero is thedefault setting of reality. The big mystery of “why is there something rather than nothing?” is answeredsimply by understanding that nothing still exists. All possible moments of time and allpossible universes physically exist simultaneously, because all are merely fragments of aphysically real zero. In the same way all colors exist in white light, or just as all positiveand negative numbers sum to zero, all the moments of time sum up to construct agreater balanced whole we call zero. Zero is like a whole pie that can be sliced upinfinitely many ways, but always remains a single whole. It is a difficult mental switchto adjust to, but everything we know is less than zero, not simply more than nothing.And so our beautiful universe is not dying. The very surprising purely scientific truth,as explained in this book, is that our universe is in the process of merging with thetimeless sum of all, with the infinite whole, with everything forever.
  • 6. This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion…Albert Einstein ~~~Just as we envision all of space as really being out there, as really existing,we should also envision all of time as really being out there, as reallyexisting too.Brian Greene ~~~Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now.Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.Eckhart Tolle ~~~Ultimately, all moments are really one, therefore now is an eternity.David Bohm ~~~Our actual universe evolves to empty space.Sean Carroll ~~~Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.Woody Allen
  • 7. ix Introduction There is a wide assortment of excellent books out there if one is interested inthe science of quantum mechanics or superstrings theory. What the shelves aremissing are books on the science of timelessness, true even though the threemost remarkable physicists of the last century, Albert Einstein, Richard Feyn-man, and Stephen Hawking, each concluded from their own individual accom-plishments in science that the actual Universe exists apart from our sense oftime. Each scientist developed their own unique way of understanding timeless-ness. The renowned Stephen Hawking, who holds Newton’s chair at Cambridgehas been the most adamant and regularly refers to another mode of time inwhich the Universe has no beginning or end. None of these scientists have saidthat time is purely an illusion. It appears more accurate to say that in the sameway the permanent pages of a book tell a changing story, the past, present, andfuture moments of our lives all exist simultaneously in another kind of time.Today, Hawking and others call this other realm imaginary time, even though thisother form of time should probably be considered more solidly existent andmore tangibly real than our own time. What all scientists agree on is that we have begun to enter the golden age ofastronomy and cosmology. Quite suddenly we have reached a period when themost important questions physicists have asked over the past one hundred yearsare finally being answered by hi-tech probes and the Hubble space telescope, asthey extract the needed information from distant galaxies and as they map theecho left over from the big bang. Already this golden age has produced startlingrevelations about our existence. For example, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisot-ropy Probe (WMAP) determined with unparalleled precision that the large-scalecosmos is spatially flat. The geometry of the overall cosmos shows no indicationof being curved into a figure eight or any kind of closed circular volume thatwould allow the cosmos to be spatially limited. And so, it appears the stars andthe galaxies, the physical cosmos we live in, extends outward in every directioninfinitely without end. Many scientific minded philosophers have in the past imagined the greaterUniverse might be timeless and infinite, as far back as Parmenides and as recentas Giordano Bruno, and many today in and out of science are convinced thatquantum theory indicates an infinity of parallel worlds within the inner space ofparticles and energy. But this probe has in fact transported us into a very differ-ent age of learning, both for science and all of humanity. In scientifically con-cluding the cosmos is infinite we are no longer discussing various scenarios ofhow the cosmos might be, we are finally discussing and exploring one scenarioof how the cosmos actually is. Consequently we are now being led toward amuch deeper and very profound understanding of the cosmic big picture. How-ever, there is one recognizable stumbling block… the second law.
  • 8. x | Introduction The sixties was distinctly a time when people began to question and chal-lenge established ways of seeing the world. Many recognize that movement wasgreatly influenced by two scientific theories that had finally gained wide accep-tance, the big bang model and Darwin’s theory of evolution. Both theoriesprovided insight into how our world changes over time, and both greatly influ-enced the youth of that period, myself included. However, informative as boththeories were, unfortunately there was no lasting change, as there was no pot ofgold at the end of the rainbow. The theory of evolution and the big bang bothexpose details about the past, but neither revealed what the universe is evolvingtowards. Consequently the knowledge bestowed from these new comprehen-sions, although wonderfully educational, fell short of exposing any sense ofdeeper meaning or purpose to the evolution of the cosmos. The reason both theories failed to provide any type of enlightenment as towhat the universe and life are about, can be summed up in five words: the secondlaw of thermodynamics. The most psychologically disturbing law found in science iswithout question the second law which claims that everything in the universeevolves from an ordered state to a more disordered state as time evolves. Thesecond law has been written about extensively, it is one of the two most basiclaws of nature, but the underlying conclusion which everyone must draw isalways the same. In moving toward disorder the universe is winding down, it isdying. So the grand lesson of science has become that the long-term evolutionof the cosmos has no ultimate purpose or goal. Our beautiful universe is dying.This conclusion is forced upon every person who learns the second law, and infact the second law hangs over science and humanity like a black cloud. It is easy to imagine how much more interested people would be in sciencetoday had we instead discovered that our universe is evolving into somethingmeaningful, and not simply dying of disorder. Imagine instead that scientists haddiscovered some deep purpose to time. Imagine scientists had found the orderof the universe is ever increasing, moving us steadily toward some incomprehen-sible perfection. We all occasionally stop and contemplate the world, and howwe scientifically view the universe’s future effects us on many levels. Knowingthe universe has a future goal, knowing time has an innate purpose, would atleast subtly influence each one of us, and eventually it would undoubtedlychange humanity. Could the second law be wrong? Actually, today the second law stands asone of the most fiercely defended laws in science. It describes the most basicway that the cosmos changes with time. Most believe it will never be overturned.Only there is one thing to consider. Something totally unexpected happenedrecently in science, and it is something that promises to dramatically change howwe view the distant future. In the summer of 1999, NASA officials and a teamof scientists in a television broadcast announced one of the most startling dis-coveries ever made, a discovery comparable even to when Edwin Hubble first
  • 9. Introduction | xidiscovered the galaxies are expanding away from one another. NASA scientistsusing the Hubble space telescope had carefully verified the discovery originallymade in 1998 and were ready to officially announce the findings. On NASAtelevision a large group of scientists announced, “the expansion of the universeis presently accelerating.” What does this discovery mean? Since the Big Bang was first discovered itwas thought that all expansion was slowing down, decelerating ever since timebegan 13.7 billion years ago. But careful measurements of galactic distancesmeasuring the brightness of a special type of supernova revealed distinctly thatexpansion is no longer in decline. After slowing for nearly eight billion years, thedeceleration of expansion turned to acceleration approximately six billion yearsago. Apparently there are two phases to the life of the cosmos, one whereexpansion slows as time moves away from the point of the big bang, and onewhere expansion accelerates. What are we accelerating towards? The universe ismoving directly toward the opposite extreme from which time began, the stateof absolute zero. What is absolute zero? Absolute zero is the timeless whole ofall universes. Science is now in an unprecedented adjustment period. Old questions mustbe reconsidered, such as, what is the future like? What is the final result of time?What is absolute zero? Could this acceleration change our bleak outlook of thedistant future? The discovery that the expansion of the cosmos is now accelerat-ing was not a complete surprise to me personally, as I had written three booksbetween 1994 and 1997, all prior to the 98 discovery, in each book explainingthat time is moving toward absolute zero. Although I agreed with the big bangmodel I departed from the conclusions of mainstream scientists who argued thattime will never reach the ground state of zero. The primordial vacuum of science, the inexplicable emptiness of eastern phi-losophy, the classic idea of nothingness, creation itself, cannot be found in thedirection of the past. The ground state of zero exists in the direction of thefuture, and very plainly and evidently so, once one considers without assump-tions what we know of the universe from basic physics and cosmology. Weknow in science that the universe is cooling and expanding toward absolutezero, not away from it. Furthermore, there is no evidence of a “creation fromnothing” in our past, only increasing density and energy. Most scientists knowthis to be true, and yet today we continue to project nothing into our past (andreject its obvious presence in the future) based on assumptions that our exis-tence necessarily begins in the past. In the now famous Big Rip scenario three physicists led by Robert Caldwellmention the possibility that time ends at the "ultimate singularity". More recentlythe bright and popular physicist Sean Carroll of Caltech in a presentation givento other physicists has stated "our actual universe evolves to empty space" as ifthis is plainly evident. What is the universe accelerating toward? The simple
  • 10. xii | Introductionanswer is that, as if shot from Robin Hood, the arrow of time has turned on itsrocket boosters and is flying straight at the perfect zero center of the target. Wecan expect it to become increasingly commonplace for scientists to openly statethat time ends at a ground state of absolute zero or empty space. If we take asmall step backward and look at the big picture, a final end of time at the ulti-mate singularity of zero derives from accelerating expansion as equally obviousas the big bang past derives from expansion. And once the goal of our universeis seen and understood, the really big picture finally starts to make sense. The reason acknowledging the true location of zero is vitally important toscience is because the void of empty space in our future isnt really empty. Thezero of physics isnt a cancellation of everything. Absolute zero is the sum ofeverything, the sum of all universes, all possible states, and all life. Zero isEinstein’s timelessness. The big bang most certainly happened, and time doesbegin in a highly ordered state, but the tiny Alpha singularity in our past ismerely one of two special types of order in nature. Present in our future thereexists another type of order; the true state of highest order, i.e., perfect balance,neutrality, unity, perfect symmetry, the great infinite whole. As impossible assomething this profound seems, an ultimate state of oneness really does exist asa physically real stage in the life of our own expanding space-time, directly in thefuture. Our universe is literally in the process of merging together with all otheruniverses in the greater multiverse, and this book contains the map to prove it. In Terry Gilliam’s movie Time Bandits, a small band of God’s helpers steal amap of the Universe which allows them to travel through special portals thatbridge different periods of time. Seeking gold and jewels, the bandits invadeperiods of history which in the movie are portrayed as different regions of alarger timeless Universe displayed on the map. Turning that story line into non-fiction, in this book we are going to sneak a peak at God’s map. We are going tomap the timeless realm of all possibilities (sorry, portals not included). And oncewe cross into this timeless realm, the panoramic view of the big picture unlocksa real magical chest of gold and jewels, in the form of ultimate knowledge aboutwhy the universe is this way. In science today a completely new way of seeing the universe is emerging.Science tends to study the small, the constructing parts of a system, and so thedirection of learning is from the bottom-up. Scientists have managed genuinemiracles in discovering the tiny building blocks of the larger world. But rarely doscientists ever attempt to view the greater whole Universe from a top-downperspective. There has been one major exception to this rule in the recent past;the physicist David Bohm. In his younger years David Bohm was a student and close friend of AlbertEinstein. As a physicist Bohm made major contributions to the development ofnuclear physics and quantum theory, but in his later years Bohm encountered abook written by Jiddu Krishnamurti, an eastern philosopher, and Bohm was
  • 11. Introduction | xiiisurprised to find there were many ideas about wholeness in this book thatrelated to his own ideas about quantum theory. Bohm later was led to writeWholeness and the Implicate Order, a book in which Bohm claims that there are twokinds of order in nature. Bohm laid a foundation but never realized the full extent of his own claim,but he was certainly correct. Still unbeknownst to the science of today, there arein fact two distinct and separate types of order in nature, rather than simplyorder and disorder. One order exists in extreme in our past, the other kind oforder exists in extreme in our future. And so the universe isn’t dying. Rather ouruniverse is evolving away from the powerful influences of one type of ordertoward a more powerful other type of order in the future. Having spent a lifetime exploring the idea of eternity and the infinite whole,and having mapped the timeless realm, I discovered profoundly that we existcaught in between two great powers. The emergence of orderliness and life, allthe intricate becoming of nature, the systemization we know as the forces ofnature, all result from the natural struggle between these two great powers. Thetheory of two orders is an entirely new science and of course anything newalways sounds incredibly complex, but in fact the fifth chapter which explainsthe two orders is extremely straightforward and simple, it can be explained to agrade school student. The two orders could instead have been discovered in theage of philosophers, by Plato or Aristotle. But somehow it was overlooked, andconsequently here we are today having trouble fitting all the pieces of the cosmicpuzzle together. It turns out that there is a very good reason the expansion of the universe isaccelerating. All time in every universe moves toward the balance of a universalzero. Although it is a bit startling to clearly recognize that time has both a begin-ning AND an end, in discovering timelessness we also find that our singlecosmos is like a story in a great book that tells an infinite number of stories. Allthe stories; my story, your story, exists forever. We are led finally to imagine adeeper level of reality, even from a purely scientific perspective, where all lifeacross infinite worlds exists eternally unified within an implicate ground state ofzero, forming an omniscience ever present in our own future. A bit too pro-found I know to be good hard science, but here comes a truly extraordinary wayof seeing the Universe.
  • 12. xiv | Introduction
  • 13. ix Contents Part l The Beginning of Timelessness 1 Ch1 Time is Imaginary 5 Ch2 Why the Universe Exists Timelessly 11 Ch3 The Great Cosmic Boundaries 19 Ch4 Describing the Realm of All Possibilities 29 Ch5 Caught Between Two Kinds of Order 47 Part II The Governing Dynamics 69 Ch6 Natural Order 73 Ch7 Enfolded Symmetry 85 Ch8 Beautiful Diversity 93 Ch9 Something from Nothing? 105 Part III The Comprehensibility Of All 112 Ch10 Infinity Means What? 115 10.1 A Branching Out of Many-Worlds 117 10.2 The Multiverse 126 10.3 Many Realms 129 10.4 Absolute Chaos 132 10.5 Perfection 135 Ch11 Time is a Direction in Space 139 Part IV The Great Cosmic Attractor 151 Ch12 The Shape of All Conceivables 155 Ch13 Everything Moves Towards Balance 169 Ch14 Equilibrium 175 Ch15 Convergence 187 Ch16 The Big Bloom 191 Part V The Second Law is Too Simple 199 Ch17 Away from Order toward Order 203 Ch18 Multiple Arrows of Time 217 Ch19 A Matter of Space 229 Ch20 Built in From the Beginning 239 Part VI Cosmic Psyche 247 Ch21 God’s Math 251 Ch22 Proto and Elea 259 Ch23 Our Basic Natures 267 Ch24 Cosmic Lovers 283 Part VII Spiritual Science 297 Ch25 Becoming Aware 301 Ch26 The White World 315 Ch27 God, Infinity, and Nature As One 319
  • 14. x | EVERYTHING FOREVER Everything Forever Time is one enormous moment Where children play not knowing of a tomorrow where people walk along an ocean and gaze in wet air This sense of separation and loss is all illusion though old men tell of the past as if it is gone somewhere else to children who listen as if it used to be We all walk here in time not yet knowing as we ponder the mystery and animals listen that all in this same moment the world begins and the world ends while these waves crash upon the shore regardless And now as I touch your hand time will stand still and trap something there forever for us to view from some heaven as we are forever born into an endless moment © Gevin Giorbran Photo © Michel Meyns- brughen
  • 15. 1It is unity that enchants me.Giordano Bruno Fractal Art: © Kerry MitchellPart OneThe Beginning of Timelessness I dream myself awake. I have come to accept the fact that I will wake upearly in the morning full of leftover thoughts after lucidly dreaming of themysteries remaining in my mind. Awake I think of the patterns which are be-coming ever more evident, patterns I now recognize in nature and in us, ineverything from art to politics. After about an hour I ease back into quiet sleep.The writer Gerhard Staguhn once wrote, "Whenever man tries to probe into theuniverses dimension of time, he will finally be confronted with eternity. Wherehe tries to understand the dimension of space, he will be finally confronted withinfinity." Such exposures have become true for my own journey, and are steadilybecoming true for science, but no one, myself included, ever believed the time-less infinite could be so fathomable. Most people comfortably assume that the past no longer exists and the fu-ture only becomes real as time evolves to it. When someone refers to the begin-ning of time we assume they are referring to the beginning of the existence ofthe universe. Usually we imagine the whole of physical reality moves along withus through time. Yet that assumption might be like someone reading a book andbelieving that once a page is turned it no longer exists, or someone believing thepages that haven’t been read yet do not exist until one turns the page. It mightbe the same as believing that nothing existed until the book was suddenlyopened to the first page. There is actually no valid reason to assume the past andfuture do not exist, just because we can’t turn the pages forward or backward atwill, or we can’t yet read all the pages at once, to verify all of them are alwaysthere. Having long ago learned to escape time in various ways, it’s easy to forgethow convinced most people are that the past and future don’t exist. Many stopat the question of whether the past still exists, but are quite convinced there isn’tanything out there yet in the future. What is it that makes us believe being herein this moment has any influence on the reality of other times we’ve known or
  • 16. 2 | EVERYTHING FOREVERmight experience? Why does the here and now make the past seem as if itdoesn’t exist any longer? And why does the present make the future seemnonexistent? We know how real this moment is, and we know the other mo-ments we’ve experienced were just as real. Why can’t they all be real at the sametime? That strong sense that we possess of experiencing any given moment as if itis all of reality is only naturally true of all the moments that we experience. Itcouldn’t be any different. Our experience is always of moments which if theywere any different then we would just experience that different place. We wouldbe someplace else in time. There is nothing about our existence in this momentthat suggests that we can’t be in both places, thinking we only exist in eachplace. What we define as our self can be here and there simultaneously withoutcreating any existential crisis. It is only the definition of each moment that makeseach moment seem exclusively real. And if we think about it, that principlealone, the reality of each moment, actually indicates that all the moments arereal, far more than it indicates only one moment can be real. Imagine that you could somehow experience two places simultaneously. Youwould still sense change and time taking place, just in two places at once. Yourexistence in time wouldn’t be upset, just your sense of place would be unusual.Your sense of position in one single place would feel disturbed. At first youwould surely assume both versions of you existed at the same time, as if one wasacross town from the other. “Why is there two of me in the same time?” youwould wonder. But if you looked at a calendar or a clock and realized that oneof your experiences was in the future, then your ordinary sense of time wouldsuddenly shatter. Your time advanced future self would sense a ‘now’ in the past.Your time retarded past self would sense a ‘now’ in the future. You wouldbecome time dizzy at not being able to tell which of the two is the true andactual present? One experience seems to be in the past of the other, while theother experience seems to be in the future of the other. Your sense of a com-mon now for both would conflict with the whole notion of a past and future.Facing such a dilemma would actually leave you with an improved sense of time,because to resolve the paradox you would have to realize that only your experi-ence of one place makes it seem as if other places and times don’t exist. If all the moments we have ever experienced in our life simultaneously existwe wouldn’t experience the world any differently. We are limited to experiencingeach moment as if it is the only one that is real and furthermore, the only waythat we can sense that we exist at all is if we experience a series of individualmoments. The dynamic relationships within time make us conscious. So wearen’t just experiencing one moment. Our conscious experience overlaps manymoments. Of course most everyone is unfamiliar with these kinds of ideas, and freshlyencountering the rationality of such ideas rarely convinces anyone outright that
  • 17. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 3the existence of the universe doesn’t evolve. Timelessness is an interestingconcept, but what proof is there? Our ordinary notion of time is simple,straightforward, and practical. It is the least of what we know for certain. It isn’tas profound as the idea of timelessness. But what is truly real? Do we each existsomewhere else? Are we each being born at this same time? Do the dinosaursstill exist, just somewhere else in another place we can’t readily visit? Could welook through a window at the past or the future and see it existing as real as weexist? Could we walk through a door and visit other times? Is there any way toknow for certain?
  • 18. 4 | EVERYTHING FOREVERThe objective world simply is; it does not happen.Herman Weyl ~~~If we accept multiple universes then we no longer need worry about what reallyhappened in the past, because every possible past is equally real. Therefore, toavoid... insanity, we can, with clear consciences, arbitrarily define reality as thatbranch of the past that agrees with our memories.Joseph Gerver ~~~What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there isnothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! Thisis something new?" It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.King Solomon ~~~But according to conventional physics, we inhabit a universe where time andspace are frozen into a single unchanging space-time. All the events that havehappened or will ever happen are marked by points in this "block" of space-time,like bubbles suspended in ice. Past and future have the same footing, and theresno flow.Stephen Battersby ~~~I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in thepresent, which is what there is and all there is.Alan Watts ~~~Why is [the now] the most precious thing? Firstly, because it is the only thing.It’s all there is. The eternal present is the space within which your whole lifeunfolds, the factor that remains constant. Life is now. There was never a timewhen your life was not now, nor will there ever be. Secondly, the Now is the onlypoint that can take you beyond the limited confines of your mind. It is your onlypoint of access to the timeless and formless realm of Being.Eckhart Tolle ~~~“You have the sight now Neo, you are looking at the world without time.”The Oracle in The Matrix ~~~The ultimate stuff of the universe is mind stuff.Sir Arthur Eddington
  • 19. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 5Time has no independent existence apart from theorder of events by which we measure it.Albert EinsteinChapter OneTime is ImaginaryThe People of Timelessness Surprising as it may be to most non-scientists and even to some scientists,Albert Einstein concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future allexist simultaneously. In 1952, in his book Relativity, in discussing MinkowskisSpace World interpretation of his theory of relativity, Einstein writes: Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent "now" objectively, the concepts of happening and be- coming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence. Einsteins belief in an undivided solid reality was clear to him, so much sothat he completely rejected the separation we experience as the moment of now.He believed there is no true division between past and future. His most descrip-tive testimony to this faith came when his lifelong friend Besso died. Einsteinwrote a letter to Bessos family, saying that although Besso had preceded him indeath it was of no consequence, "...for us physicists believe the separationbetween past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincingone." Most everyone knows that Einstein proved that time is relative, not absoluteas Newton claimed. With the proper technology, such as a very fast spaceship,one person is able to experience several days while another person simultane-ously experiences only a few hours or minutes. The same two people can meetup again, one having experienced days or even years while the other has onlyexperienced minutes. The person in the spaceship only needs to travel near tothe speed of light. The faster they travel, the slower their time will pass relativeto someone planted firmly on the Earth. If they were able to travel at the speedof light, their time would cease completely and they would only exist trapped intimelessness. Einstein could hardly believe there were physicists who didn’tbelieve in timelessness, and yet the wisdom of Einsteins convictions had verylittle impact on cosmology or science in general. The majority of physicists havebeen slow to give up the ordinary assumptions we make about time. The two most highly recognized physicists since Einstein made similar con-clusions and even made dramatic advances toward a timeless perspective of the
  • 20. 6 | EVERYTHING FOREVERuniverse, yet they also were unable to change the temporal mentality ingrained inthe mainstream of physics and society. Einstein was followed in history by thecolorful and brilliant Richard Feynman. Feynman developed the most effectiveand explanatory interpretation of quantum mechanics that had yet been devel-oped, known today as Sum over Histories. Just as Einsteins own Relativity Theory led Einstein to reject time, Feyn-man’s Sum over Histories theory led him to describe time simply as a direction inspace. Feynman’s theory states that the probability of an event is determined bysumming together all the possible histories of that event. For example, for aparticle moving from point A to B we imagine the particle traveling every possi-ble path, curved paths, oscillating paths, squiggly paths, even backward in timeand forward in time paths. When summed the vast majority of all these direc-tions add up to zero, and all that remains is the comparably few paths that abideby the laws and forces of nature. Sum over histories indicates the direction ofour ordinary clock time is simply a path in space which is more probable thanthe more exotic directions time might have taken otherwise. Other worlds are just other directions in space, some less probable, someequally as probable as the one direction we experience. Feynmans summing ofall possible histories could be described as the first timeless description of amultitude of space-time worlds all existing simultaneously. In a recent paperentitled Cosmology From the Top Down, Professor Stephen Hawking of Cambridgewrites; “Some people make a great mystery of the multi universe, or the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum theory, but to me, these are just differentexpressions of the Feynman path integral.” Hawking, the most popular physicist since Einstein, who has battled againstwhat is known as Lou Gehrigs disease for some thirty years, has expanded uponboth Einstein’s and Feynmans theories supporting timelessness. Hawking de-mystified the black hole, and wrote books so enjoyable that he has managed toeducate billions of people about modern physics and cosmology. From hiswheelchair, presently unable to communicate without his computer, Hawkingstill actively lectures while he professionally holds Newtons chair as Lucasianprofessor of mathematics at Cambridge University in England. As if such mira-cles were commonplace, Hawking has introduced what could be said to be thescientific theory of forever. Hawking and James Hartle developed the No Boundary Proposal, a theorywhich extends other theories such as Sum Over Histories. The no boundary pro-posal is a model of the early universe during the big bang which includes asecond reference of time, called Imaginary Time which has no beginning or end.In this mode of time we could in fact reach back and touch the original condi-tions of the early universe, because they still exist in a common time to allmoments. Hawking explains that what we think of as real time has a beginning
  • 21. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 7at the Big Bang, some ten to twenty billion years ago, but in imaginary time theuniverse simply exists. People often think from the tag imaginary that this other mode of time isn’treal. Quite the contrary, clock time could be said to be imaginary compared tothis ultimate mode of time, since in imaginary time our clock time is totallyindistinguishable from directions in space. In his most popular book A BriefHistory of Time Hawking writes: Quantum theory introduces a new idea, that of imaginary time. Imaginary time may sound like science fiction, and it has been brought into Doctor Who [an Eng- lish Star Trek]. But never the less, it is a genuine scientific concept. One can pic- ture it in the following way. One can think of ordinary, real, time as a horizontal line. On the left, one has the past, and on the right, the future. But theres another kind of time in the vertical direction. This is called imaginary time, because it is not the kind of time we normally experience. But in a sense, it is just as real, as what we call real time. Figure 1.1: All moments share an Imaginary Time reference which has no begin- ning or end. The simple lines in this image above effectively portray imaginary time oc-curring at right angles to our ordinary sense of time. Of course since the mo-ments of past, present, and future all exist simultaneously in this other mode oftime, the duration of each moment of time would seem to be ceaseless andeternal. The existence of the universe in imaginary time doesn’t have a past or afuture, instead all times exist in one enormous moment of now. Hawking writes: One could say: "The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no bound- ary." The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by any- thing outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE. According to Hawking the universe doesn’t have a boundary point where itsuddenly begins existing. The first moment isn’t any different than the second inrespect to existence. Both moments exist forever in imaginary time. It takes verylittle reasoning to figure out that if the universe exists in an unseen way withoutbeginning or end, at right angles to regular time, then that reference to time issimply more elementary and even more real than ordinary clock time. The termimaginary applies more accurately to our time.
  • 22. 8 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Hawking himself writes: This might suggest that the so-called imaginary time is really the real time, and that what we call real time is just a figment of our imaginations. In real time, the uni- verse has a beginning and an end at singularities that form a boundary to space- time and at which the laws of science break down. But in imaginary time, there are no singularities or boundaries. So maybe what we call imaginary time is really more basic, and what we call real is just an idea that we invent to help us describe what we think the universe is like. Using the no boundary proposal, we can imaginethe whole of time by imaginatively placing oneselfinside a giant hollow globe. If we look up we see theNorth Pole from the inside. Within this globe of time,looking up is looking into the past, but not as if it nolonger exists, instead one can actually touch the pastsince it is a place existing permanently. The NorthPole, the beginning of time, is just a single positionupon the rounded surface like the first page of abook. Looking down one even sees the future. And inthis globe, looking down we see the South Pole, theend of what we call time. If the universe exists in another time reference where conditions are perma-nent or static, suddenly it doesnt matter that we humans so convincingly ob-serve a beginning to time, since the imaginary time reference applies regardlessof our sense of where we are in time. The universe could be said to exist beforeour clock time began, and after our clock time ends. The past and future existnow. Obviously, imaginary time relates directly to existence. Imaginary timerelates to the whole, to all that can be imagined. It also easily relates to numbersand ideas and the concepts we think with, which we already sense exist forever. The only reason this can be so disorienting at first is because we are splittingtime into two separate dimensions. We are splitting in two the more commonmeaning of the word time. Here one time dimension is related purely to theexistence of each moment, so it is the omni-directional time we exist within. Theother time dimension, the time we measure with clocks, is here limited to beingchange which is necessarily a construction of many moments in the first dimen-sion bound together in some way that creates a second time dimension. Eachmoment is necessarily a time frame, which is a sort of fixed pattern of matterand space. Somehow those frames or spaces are fused together, creating a falsesense that existence is changing and transforming, when change is actuallyobserved only by whatever moves from one time frame to another. Another English theoretical physicist, Julian Barbour, believes that time sim-ply doesn’t exist. Barbour, an independent theoretician not affiliated with anyUniversity, is never the less highly respected in the upper physics community.
  • 23. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 9And Barbour has extensively explored the concept of timelessness and theillusion of motion, and is perhaps the first person since Ludwig Boltzmann toset his focus directly on modeling the timeless world of all possible states.Barbour’s version of timelessness, Platonia, named in respect of Plato’s allegoryof the cave which describes a world of illusion, theorizes that the set of allpossible nows can be reduced to the patterns created by all the possible triangu-lar positions of only three particles. In an interview with John Brockman, Bar-bour describes his version of the wedge model and shows his passion fordescribing timelessness: What really intrigues me is that the totality of all possible Nows of any definite kind has a very special structure. You can think of it as a landscape, or country. Each point in the country is a Now. I call it Platonia, because it is timeless and created by perfect mathematical rules. I so strongly agree with and respect how Barbour has introduced to sciencethe base assumption that what exists in timelessness is describable and it isshaping the world we experience. Barbour is convinced that there is a distinctshape to a timeless realm of all possibilities which is exclusively responsible forguiding the path of time and fashioning the physical universe we experience.Such a view is presently uncommon but it can be appreciated as the only possi-ble explanation. When a respected scientist clearly emphasizes a perspective asBarbour has done it opens the doors for others. Another popular physicist, the string theorist Brian Greene, author of thebook and PBS television series The Elegant Universe, has stated the following inhis most recent book The Fabric of the Cosmos. “Just as we envision all of space asreally being out there, as really existing, we should also envision all of time asreally being out there, as really existing too." It appears we have finally reached anew era of taking the idea of timelessness seriously. This means however that wehave to begin to look at the universe differently. We have to learn to thinkdifferently and ask different questions. The most important question is a bigone. How can a universe simply exist?
  • 24. 10 | EVERYTHING FOREVERBecause imaginary time behaves like another direction in space, histories inimaginary time can be closed surfaces, like the surface of the Earth, with no[existential] beginning or end.Stephen Hawking ~~~When I consider the small span of my life absorbed in the eternity of all time, orthe small part of space which I can touch or see engulfed by the infinite immensityof spaces that I know not and that know me not, I am frightened and astonished tosee myself here instead of instead of then.Blaise Pascal ~~~We all operate within a framework of concepts that make sense of the world to us,which we use to formulate our goals, hopes, and dreams, and to seek ways toovercome problems and obstacles as we build our lives. Certainly the universe outthere has much to say about all this, but it’s hard to figure out what it says whenour scientific description exists for us as a remote framework without clearlyarticulated connections to the concepts which we operate in daily life. So we livein a disconnected state: abstract and evolving knowledge of the grand universe onone hand, and the immediate need for a guide to our individual choices on theother hand. How do we bring these together, so that we can guide our immediatechoices from a perspective that is informed by and connected to the big picture?Todd Duncan ~~~Time past and time future,what might have been and what has been,point to one end, which is always present.T.S. Eliot ~~~Part of metaphysics moves, consciously or not, around the question of knowingwhy anything exists - why matter, or spirit, or God, rather than nothing at all?But the question presupposes that reality fills a void, that underneath Being liesnothingness, that de jure there should be nothing, that we must therefore explainwhy there is de facto something.Henry Bergson
  • 25. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 11Thou canst not recognize not-being (for thisis impossible), nor couldst thou speak of it,for thought and being are the same thing.Parmenides Fractal Art: © Kerry MitchellChapter TwoWhy the Universe Exists TimelesslyA Journey Beyond Nothing As we move backward through the semi-illusion of time we watch the uni-verse de-evolve, we pass the dinosaurs and the emergence of life on this planet,then view the Earth de-form into clouds of stellar materials produced fromexploded stars which themselves de-explode and then de-coalesce toward be-coming a dense uniform opaque plasma. As time accelerates backwards spaceitself collapses inward, as if it is being vacuumed away, moving all the material inthe universe ever nearer, with all finally crashing into a beginning point. As theuniverse crashes inward it seems obvious that we must be closing in on somesort of birth. We seem to be moving backward toward what must inevitably be adistinct creation event, where the somethingness of matter arises from a primor-dial nothing. Be this moment an act of omnificent magic, a fortunate accident, or some-thing completely inexplicable, considering the universe is expanding it appearsevident that somehow all that we know, has been, and everything that shallfollow in the wake of the present, came to be all at once at one moment of timein our past. It seems evident that somehow something impossibly erupted tocreate a beginning, even if all the laws of nature as they are known today inscience forbid such an event. The first law states that energy is neither creatednor destroyed. Furthermore, every ounce of logic, be it intuitive or mathemati-cal, demands that something cannot be created out of absolutely nothing. Azillion zeros still add up to zero. And logically, if something comes from noth-ing, then it wasn’t really nothing to begin with then was it. And yet the universeis here, and all is expanding away from one single place and one single time,before which there is no possibility of time as we perceive time. Every bone in a reasonable person’s body screams that this sudden creationevent could not have happened by itself. A universe cannot just pop into exis-
  • 26. 12 | EVERYTHING FOREVERtence. The existence of a universe and our own existence requires a cause. Andso we ask, does this impossibility of ‘something coming from nothing’ mean thatthe universe absolutely had to have been created? Did a powerful being of somekind (usually assumed to be named God) create the first moment of our uni-verse? It is almost a relief to consider this possibility in the face of such a para-doxical dilemma, except we actually know that this solution only suspends andrelocates the mystery. All the same questions we ask about how the universecame to be, must then be diverted to this being called God. The inference ofsome seems to be that God is so powerful that God is beyond needing anexplanation, yet realistically the same old questions apply. How long has thisbeing existed? How did God begin from nothing? If it has existed forever, thenhow can it just exist? Why does God exist rather than nothing at all? We usually know better than to try to explain the existence of the humanworld as a product of a human act, at least not logically. We don’t imagine theUniverse created the Universe. We don’t even pretend that God created God.By definition the first thing cannot come from itself or anything else. So howthen did the very first thing begin if it really didn’t exist before it suddenlyexisted? In truth there isn’t a proper answer to these questions. The answer towhy we exist isn’t answered by explaining the impossible. Rather the greatmystery of why we are here is answered by recognizing our own inevitability. A lot of people who believe in God believe God has existed forever, whichleads to the question, could something just exist eternally, without beginning orend? But then if so, if that door is actually open, if it is possible for somethingcomplex and powerful like a god to have existed forever, could such reasons forbeing able to innately exist forever also apply to a seemingly more simple uni-verse? Is it possible that the seed of the big bang existed forever before undergo-ing the transformation we know as the big bang? Is it possible that everything,even we ourselves, exist forever in each moment apart from our sense of time,making time ultimately an illusion. This would mean that the past, present andeven the future, all exist simultaneously. Presently it doesn’t seem possible to us that things might simply exist. Why?Because a universe is complicated, God is complicated, while nothingness incomparison is simple. Nothingness wouldn’t need an explanation. Complicationrequires a reason for being so. In fact there is only one principle idea that holdsus back from believing that there are things, or beings, or realms of time andplace, which exist forever without cause, without beginning or end. That reasonis our expectation that a pure and total nothingness is more primary, more basic,and simpler, than every other possibility. The true root question, the one thatapplies to everything equally, both God and the universe, is why does anythingexist rather than nothing at all? Yet that question assumes that nothing is basicand primary.
  • 27. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 13 And so, if we could somehow make that question go away, if we could real-ize we are making some type of mistake, and realize that ‘nothing’ isn’t reallysimpler or more primordial to everything else, then we might actually be able to,in the same realization, understand clearly why something like a God or a cos-mos should exist timelessly. Then we would no longer need to battle the para-dox of how something came from nothing, because then we would know whythere was never an absolute nothingness to begin with.What Nothing Really is Why is there this existence we are taking part in instead of nothing at all? Solet’s focus now on that question. We should not merely ask the question, butstudy the question. How did something come from nothing? What are we askingwith that question? Most of us think we know what somethingness is, but whatexactly is nothing? Let’s walk right up to it and find out. Imagine we are transported all the way back to the beginning of time. We arestanding at the very precipice of the birth of the world, the birth of being itself.It would be a bit like kneeling down and crawling out to the tip of a cliff. Outbeyond the edge of the cliff there is nothing at all. So now you crawl out, andyou put your hand out to the surface of the beginning, to the origin of every-thing that will ever think or be. Imagine you can touch the very beginning, theoriginating moment. Now push through it. Reach beyond that outermost edge.Reach into the blankness beyond and touch the original void. Touch the simplic-ity. Imagine it, imagine the nothingness, the abyss that would have been prior toexistence, and try even to understand it. Understand its nature. What words bestdescribe it? Is it frightening or menacing, or is it vibrant with all the potential ofbeing? Is it thick or dark, warm or cold? It surely must at least be simple, assimple as simple can be. Can you bring words to what you sensed? What words describe the completeblankness? Actually if you are able to imagine something, or describe something,or feel anything, you need to realize that you haven’t yet gone far enough be-yond the edge of real existing things. Actually if we are able to imagine or de-scribe anything at all, or feel anything, we cannot be all the way beyond the edgeof somethingness. Nothing is nothing at all. We must move beyond what ordi-nary words can describe. So try one more time. Let your mind drift beyond theedge of time, beyond all descriptions, beyond all senses. And yes now we can’tsee it, there it isn’t, just beyond the edge of rational thought itself, hidden therein a blackness darker than black, a quiet beyond silence, a stillness beyond rest.Oh my, there “isn’t” the absolute void. Are you still here! You didnt disappear? And you didnt get sucked in? Butdid you feel it? Did you at least sense it? “NO!” What do you mean “NO”! Wewere right there! How could that be? I wonder what went wrong. You must not
  • 28. 14 | EVERYTHING FOREVERhave a very good imagination! No wait, maybe you do, maybe that is the prob-lem. Maybe your imagination is getting in the way because what we are trying toimagine isnt cold or dark, or a void or an abyss, it isn’t quiet or simple, and it’shardly anything to be afraid of, because it doesnt exist. Maybe this nothing isunimaginable because there is nothing to imagine. Indeed if you came up withany sense of what is beyond the cliff, then you sort of missed the point. The thought exercise above reveals a sort of anomaly in how we see theworld, and it reveals something about the world that anyone can appreciateregardless of education or religious beliefs. We cannot actually imagine or de-scribe nothingness, that is, if we are referring to a nothing prior to existence. Wecan describe the type of nothing that is common in our lives, the nothing thatwe encounter everyday. There is nothing here or there. There is nothing to talkabout. There is nothing in the refrigerator. That type of nothing is somethingempty, something lacking substance, something uniform or plain or simple. Butthe other nothing that is prior to existence is a special case in terms of semanticsand meaning. By definition, words simply can’t describe it, so it is different thaneverything else that we define with words and everything else imaginable. A fact about reality we are discovering here is that there are two very differ-ent nothings, and presently the two are entangled together when they don’tbelong together. In other words, there is actually something wrong with theword nothing as we use it today. If we carefully study the definition of the wordnothing we can discover two very different definitions of nothing. One defini-tion of nothing is a physically real condition that has no discernable form orsubstance, such as a white canvas, or a uniform void in empty space. This typeof nothing is real and exists, and is actually quite ordinary. An empty refrigeratorhas nothing in it. A white artist canvas has nothing painted on it. The real noth-ing is always a place or a space that is uniformly undefined, where there are nodistinct things. There is just one thing, like one color, or just space alone, so wecall it nothing. But the other definition of ‘nothing’, the one we were just amoment ago trying to touch and describe is nonexistence, which is a very diffi-cult concept to understand when defined separately from the real nothing, whichis the very reason we confuse the two. We confuse the two out of need, becauseone we can describe, the other we cannot. When the dictionary defines nothing as ‘something that does not exist’, it isreasonably obvious that the syntax of the phrase makes no real sense. How can‘nothing’ be a something which does not exist? In fact simply using any word in anattempt to mean non-existence creates a sort of riddle. How do we make a wordrefer to something that doesn’t exist? What word can represent a form that isnta form; a thing that isnt a thing? What language can define a concept that has noreality or meaning? Of course we cannot solve the great old riddle of how something came fromnonexistence. It’s the ultimate oxymoron, and the ultimate contradiction in
  • 29. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 15terms. We cannot even refer to a state of nonexistence when there is no suchstate, and no such form, to refer to. Any attempt to describe it isn’t describing it.Any word representing it, isn’t representing it. Non-existence can only really bedefined as something that cannot be defined with a word. It can only refer tosomething that cannot be referred to. Obviously there is a vexing fundamentalproblem here. Any attempt to define a nonexistence using any meaningful ideaor thought, by using the meaning that otherwise defines all language, that definesour reality, is predestined to fail. Nonexistence cannot be. It cannot exist. It cannot even be meant. And thatpredicament, that total paradox, is very different from the real nothing thatexists and can be talked about. And the fact that we confuse these two conceptsis the very reason we dont yet clearly understand why we exist. We exist becausethere is no alternative. There never was a non-existence in the past and therenever will be a non-existence. Existence is the default setting of reality. Exis-tence belongs here. It has always been.The Real Nothing Imagine you are standing in a white world, like the commercials or moviesportraying heaven. In this world there is nothing but white everywhere. Theoneness of white extends away from you in every direction. You try to look outinto the distance, but because there is just the one color you can’t tell if thespace of this world extends out forever or if its edge remains just out of reach.As you reach out your hand, you realize that your physical body provides theonly sense of distance here. Your body is all that exists in a giant field of noth-ingness. There is no length or width beyond your body. There is no distance toanywhere else, because there isn’t anything else to measure a distance to. So ifyour body happens also to turn white, then suddenly all sense of dimension iserased. The very meaning of place and distance is lost. Soon even the one colorof white will disappear from your experience. You will soon become blind towhite, because you don’t have any other color to judge the meaning of this onecolor against. Soon, for you, this endless white world becomes nothing at all. If you were born into this one color dimension you wouldn’t ever be able tosee it, you would not even know it was right there in front of you, since youwould not have any other color or shade of gray to reference it by. Someonewho is blind, for example, doesn’t see black or darkness, because even if theydid temporarily upon initially going blind, the black quickly loses meaning forthem because it is just one color, and without differentiation the mind interpretssuch a world as a perceptual nothing. And in fact the mind is correct, becausethis is the real nothing that exists in physical reality. The real nothing is justsingular form. A real nothing is a singularity, and a singularity is all a real nothingcan ever be.
  • 30. 16 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Within a singularity, all distances and locations lose meaning because oncethere is a perfect unity, a oneness, then every object, every distance, every place,is the same as any other. Singularities are commonplace. Any single color is asingularity. A perfect blue sky is a singularity. The most common everydayexample of a singularity is the ordinary empty space we travel through, which iswhy we typically refer to it as nothing. Never the less, singularities can havecontent. Most everyone has heard the idea of a polar bear in a snow storm.Singularities can even be full instead of empty. Suppose we take everything froma household refrigerator, put it all in a big stove pot, add some water, and beginstirring. After we cook all this awhile all the distinct parts begin to break downand blend together evenly into a soup. If we keep heating and stirring this stewfor five or six hours, or two or three days, eventually all the many ingredientswill unify into a single paste-like substance. Many have become one. All theingredients of the refrigerator are still in there, within the one, they have justtransformed into a singularity. As we shall see, there are extreme cosmological singularities in our distantpast and our distant future. Singularities are an interesting novelty of realitybecause, in the same way all the fruits and vegetables, the condiments, the juicesand milk in the refrigerator all vanish in creating the paste, all the physicalproperties of our universe suddenly vanish into thin air at the stage of becominga singularity. If we imagine the infinity of all possible universes unified into anultimate singularity, it would still have no size or properties. In fact, if all possi-ble universes in the entire multiverse of worlds are at some ultimate level unifiedinto a whole, the totality becomes something we perceive as nothing at all. Thegreat unified whole is the white world. It can be imagined the size of a pin headsmall enough to fit in the palm of your hand, or an endless space stretching outforever. It can be said to exist in any point of space, as well as every place inspace, here, there, and everywhere.
  • 32. 18 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Photo: Point Reyes Beach © Mike LevinThe paradox of limits lies in the fact that limits combine two opposite functions:setting apart and joining.Piet Hut ~~~In the theory of relativity, the concept of time begins with the Big Bang the sameway as parallels of latitude begin at the North Pole. You cannot go further norththan the North Pole.Kari Enqvist ~~~If your position is everywhere, your momentum is zero.William Lipscomb ~~~A region of space might be expanding or contracting. If it is expanding stuffdilutes away until we get empty space. If it’s contracting it will ultimatelycollapse to a black hole. But that black hole will eventually evaporate, leavingempty space.Sean Carroll ~~~Consider the most obvious question of all about the initial state of the universe:Why is there an initial state at all?Lawrence Sklar ~~~When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improb-able, must be the truth.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • 33. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 19If we extrapolate this prediction [of contraction] to its extreme, we reach a pointwhen all distances in the universe have shrunk to zero. An initial cosmologicalsingularity therefore forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannotcontinue physical reasoning, or even the concept of spacetime, through such anextremity. For this reason most cosmologists think of the initial singularity as thebeginning of the universe.Paul DaviesPhysicist and AuthorChapter ThreeCosmic BoundariesThe Timeless Extremes that Shape Reality An idea can stretch the minds awareness beyond dreams and yet the sameidea can limit the imagination of every genius who has ever lived. Why? Becausethere are distinct boundaries to what is ultimately possible, and those sameboundaries work to limit our imaginations. Even living here inside an infiniteUniverse there are still ideas which we simply cannot think beyond. Such placesare found in our very own time and space. In fact ultimate boundaries shape theflow of time and virtually all that we observe. They literally shape reality, andmake the universe a sensible place. One of these boundaries is already fullyrecognized by science. The other as yet is hardly noticed and remains completelyunappreciated. We all are at least slightly aware of the first cosmic boundary. Scientists have long known that the space of our cosmos is stretching out-ward like the outer surface of a balloon being filled with air. The visible cosmosis expanding as if it is being inflated, and this sends all the distant galaxies whirl-ing away from us. The large-scale bodies of stars known as galaxies are movingaway from one another, but they are not moving away from a center. Rather allthe space between the galaxies is expanding everywhere in the cosmos equally.Consequently, galaxies twice as far away are speeding away twice as fast. It is a really simple conclusion scientists are forced to make. If we turn timebackward the inevitable result of letting all the air out of the balloon is that allthe matter in the universe collapses back into the same space. If time werereversed all the stars and galaxies, rather than expand outward, would collapseinward on themselves. In our past the whole cosmos becomes ever more denseand hot, as every star and galaxy in the heavens is drawn nearer together. Whatthis invariably means is that time only turns back so far. After thirteen pointseven billion years of tracing time backwards the collapse is complete, thevolume of the cosmos disappears and all material objects are collapsed andcondensed into a single solitary place, an extreme called the Alpha State.
  • 34. 20 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Figure 3.1: Arrows represent space expanding between the galaxies. Expan- sion in reverse becomes contraction and the collapsing of space can be fol- lowed back to the beginning of time at the Alpha extreme. It matters not if time originated precisely from the Alpha extreme. Scientiststoday continue to debate over whether time traces backward all the way toAlpha. What is far more important is the role Alpha plays in our thinking andour ability to imagine. Alpha is not just a place where time may have begun.That issue is secondary to the significance of there being an extreme possibilitysuch as Alpha. Alpha is a limit to what is ultimately possible. Alpha even repre-sents an ultimate boundary to what is possible in the realm of all conceivableuniverses. Alpha is a limit even to what can be imagined. Collapsing inward, the physical cosmos can shrink to a point, but once thevolume of space reaches zero, once all space is vacuumed away, the collapse iscomplete, and physics finds itself at the outer edge of what is possible to beexistent. Time may or may not have begun precisely from the absolute extremityof Alpha. But the marker of Alpha as a boundary defines a physical limitation towhat is possible and in doing so Alpha plays a key role in envisioning timeless-ness. We are actually very fortunate the cosmos is expanding as it highlights thefact that the extremity of the Alpha state is there. Seeing Alpha as an extreme isespecially key in understanding the shape of the big picture. Even if the numberof other worlds is infinite, Alpha creates a boundary within the infinite. Weoften hear the claim that “possibilities are endless”, or “anything is possible”,but the Alpha state exposes the fact that there is at least one ultimate limitationout there. There is a boundary in the world of all possibilities. We can even thinkof Alpha as a cornerstone in the foundation of reality itself, a footing that shapeswhat is imaginatively and physically possible. This is why Alpha deserves the titleof Cosmic Absolute, a possibility beyond which no other possibilities exist.
  • 35. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 21Don’t forget Omega Once recognized as an edge to what is possible, Alpha can help to exposeanother equally important boundary, because Alpha is not alone. In fact, we willeventually discover boundaries in every direction of possibility. If we now lookin the opposite direction, toward the future, the cosmos is ballooning outwarddue to cosmological expansion, so the volume of the known cosmos is becom-ing ever larger. Which means the density of the visible cosmos is steadily de-creasing and the temperature of the cosmos is steadily dropping as light and heatwaves are stretched and elongated by the ballooning of space. Such processesare very gradual and have considerable impact only after many billions of years,but if we run the clock forward in the same way that we turn the clock backwardto find Alpha, the expanding cosmos eventually creates the opposite extreme ofabsolute zero. What is absolute zero? Absolute zero is commonly known as the hypotheti-cal temperature at which all motion ceases, a temperature equal to -459.67°degrees on the Fahrenheit scale, or -273.15° degrees on the Celsius scale. Thereis no temperature colder than a zero absolute temperature (sometimes calledZAT). If you are wondering why there can’t be a continually colder temperature,the issue of motion is the easiest to understand. Temperature or heat is deter-mined by the motions of atoms. If we could freeze matter to zero, all molecularmotion would stop and be frozen in place, so the passage of time as measuredby clocks would stand still. However, absolute zero is commonly misunder-stood. Absolute zero is not merely a temperature. What very few people realize even in science is that there is a single commonzero for all measures in physics. The real absolute zero is far more extreme thanjust a coldest temperature. Absolute zero is a condition of the cosmos in ourfuture, where mass, energy, density, gravity, and temperature all reach zerosimultaneously. We sometimes casually refer to the extremities of absolute zero’sproperties, using words such as nothing, empty,cold, straight, or frozen. How can there be lessthan nothing? How can space be emptier of thingsthan perfectly empty? How can anything be moreflat than perfectly flat? How can a direction inspace be more straight than perfectly straight?How can anything be colder than frozen still?These extremities of absolute zero are literally anextreme edge to reality, which is why absolute zero,like the Alpha state, is also a great cosmic absolutebeyond which no other possibilities exist. Initially, we can envision zero as we would imagine an empty space stretchingout in all directions. The image of an invisible square, as shown here exemplifiesa perfectly flat space, a space in which no objects exist. Any two parallel lines of
  • 36. 22 | EVERYTHING FOREVERthe square shown would extend infinitely without ever converging together ordiverging away from one another. In a perfectly flat space any two parallel linesremain parallel forever. Figure 3.3: Mass, Energy, Temperature, and Density are all infinite at Alpha and are zero at Omega. The volume of space-time collapses at both ends, at Alpha and zero, while time is stopped at both ends. Gravity is turned around, considered a repulsive force during the big bang, so it is also zero on both ends of time. The claim that ZAT is the point at which all molecular motion stops is help-ful in one respect, as it highlights the fact that there is no passage of time atzero, but it also contributes to a thorough misunderstanding of absolute zero, aconfusion that has made zero in the past seem to be physically impossible.Strictly speaking, matter should not be described as possibly being frozen at zerosimply because it is impossible to make matter absolutely cold, which is a widelyknown fact in physics. Matter simply refuses to give up its energy and cease allresidual motion. This actually makes a lot of sense if we think about it. The factthat matter cannot be cooled all the way to zero in some university laboratory isnature’s way of saying that time for a group of atoms cannot be stopped whiletime is still occurring for those observing in the laboratory. However, although itis true that we cannot make atoms of matter stand completely still at this stage inthe history of the cosmos, this does not mean the cosmos cannot cool to ZATin the distant future. One of the more interesting facts about a universal zero is that the only waythat any of the physical parameters of the cosmos such as temperature or gravitycan reach absolute zero is if all the parameters of space-time reach zero simulta-neously. This fact is precisely what makes absolute zero both a cosmic absoluteand the ultimate Omega State, Omega being the last letter in the Greek alphabetwhich means “the end”. In a sense, there is only one way for the cosmos toreach zero in the future. The only way for the cosmos to become absolutely coldis if cosmological expansion stretches all the matter in the cosmos perfectly flat,at which point matter becomes indistinguishable from space. The future scenario of the cosmos stretching and becoming perfectly flat hasalways been sort of ignored in science. In an obvious double standard, physicistshave widely considered the possibility that in the past a fluctuation in a primor-dial vacuum somehow created a universe of matter, however in regards to the
  • 37. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 23future reaching ZAT, the consensus has been that a matter universe cannot coolfully to zero. As scientists developed models of the future most have imaginedonly two general scenarios. It was believed the expanding universe would eitherstop cooling toward zero and collapse inward in a big crunch, and thus heat upagain, or more likely, the universe would expand at an ever decreasing rate,moving ever nearer to, without ever reaching ZAT. We just didn’t know whatthe future would be more like, fire or ice. But we did know for certain that theuniverse has always expanded and cooled toward zero and is moving ever nearerto zero as if magnetically attracted. Only recently did we discover how powerfulthe attraction of zero is.The Big Rip Scenario In 1998 NASA realized the expansion of the cosmos is accelerating. Then inMarch of 2003 the Dartmouth physicist Robert Caldwell, already known for hisrelated theory of Quintessence, and two colleagues, presented to the scientificcommunity what they called the Big Rip model of the future, which considersthe scenario where the dark energy density, called phantom energy by Caldwell,increases with time. According to Caldwell this invisible phantom energy causesthe expansion of the cosmos to literally rip apart all the galaxies, stars, and finallyall atoms. In the Big Rip model all space is finally stretched perfectly flat, and theevolution of our cosmos ends distinctly in finite time at what Caldwell refers toas the ultimate singularity. When the expansion of the cosmos was believed to be ever decreasing, it didnot seem like time could ever reach the opposite extreme from which timebegan. So it’s particularly interesting that we have now discovered that theexpansion of the cosmos is accelerating, since the only physical process that canproduce zero in the future is if an accelerating expansion stretches the finalstages of the cosmos perfectly flat. Accelerated expansion is how the cosmosbridges the seemingly infinite gap between increasingly larger circles and theultimate extreme of flat space where two lines can always be perfectly parallel. Figure 3.4: The curvature of an expanding circle moves ever nearer to the extreme of zero curvature. Similar to Zeno’s paradox, it seems impossible for an expanding universe to be- come perfectly flat. Yet we so easily pull a curved string straight or straighten a curved rod. We can make a widening circle with our arms and imagine the circle growing ever larger but we can also stretch our arms out straight, to represent a perfectly straight line.
  • 38. 24 | EVERYTHING FOREVER The Expanding and Accelerating Universe Ultimate Boundary of Omega Zero Cosmos Reaches Zero and ends in Finite Period of Time. The Present Figure 3.5: Eventually in anBackward Time traces to Alpha. accelerating universe, everyForward Time traces to Omega. galaxy is moving away from every other galaxy at the speed of light, then every star, then every elementary particle, until the universe finally expands itself per- fectly flat. Alpha Outdated Expansion Scenarios The Present
  • 39. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 25 But what do we know about zero? Portraying zero in a logically consistentmanner is rather tricky, in part because we make so many inaccurate assump-tions about zero. The problem with referring to zero as an empty space, or usingan invisible square to portray a real physical state of zero, is that a perfectly flatspace is anything but empty. If it were empty we could put something into it. Ifit were empty it would be like a vessel that we could fill up with things, but themost basic rule about a perfectly flat space is that there is absolutely no way tointroduce an object into it. Why? Because it is already full. Flat space is notempty. If flat space were empty we could travel through it, but it is completelyimpossible to travel through a flat space, in part because time stands still at azero temperature, but more so the reason is that any matter such as the matterof our bodies requires spatial curvature. Any object introduced into a flat spacewould inevitably take away from what is actually a property of fullness and indoing so would take away from the perfect flatness of space. Objects requirespatial curvature and curvature is always a reduction of perfect flatness. Perhaps you noticed the unusual use of the word fullness. In physics, massand spatial curvatures are inseparable. A major part of what Einstein discoveredis that objects do not exist independently from space, nor does space existindependently from objects. We can imagine a flat space, but then imagining anobject existing in and traveling through that flat space fails to consider the factthat objects or matter cannot exist without spatial curvature. The two are insepa-rable because they are one and the same thing. Spatial curvature is part of whatan object is. Einstein described this by saying that space is the extension of mass,but one small step further is to say that mass is spatial curvature. Matter isnothing but curvatures in space. And all curvatures take away from the fullnessof what we can only pretend is empty space. In reality empty space is the infinitewhole, the fullness of everything combined together. It is the completed multi-plicity of quantum mechanics, the superposition of all possible states and allpossible universes combined into the ultimate singularity. We think space needs to be empty because things move through it. Lightpasses through it. But light does not move through space from point A to B aswe imagine of a thrown baseball. Light travels through space only as a probabil-ity, meaning it leaps from source to destination without ever having physicallypassed through space. This is true even of the thrown baseball. The particlesthat we see of a moving baseball are just a few which have assumed a singleposition in space long enough to collide with a photon. After the light bouncesoff the baseball both particle and photon vanish into a wave of probability, thenthe photon assumes a new position in your eye. The seemingly hard physicalworld literally bubbles up out of the fullness of flat space. If you think about thismuch, you realize the experienced physical world that has bubbled up out of theperfect void is really less than what we imagine to be empty space, and not morethan empty space or nothingness.
  • 40. 26 | EVERYTHING FOREVERBose-Einstein Condensate As space expands the cosmos is invariably becoming increasingly cold. Mosteveryone knows this, but there is also a hidden and very important underlyingphysical transformation occurring. At extreme cold temperatures far belowwaters freezing point, laboratory materials such as cesium gas become superconductive. At such temperatures, groups of oppositely charged particles magi-cally arrange themselves into orderly columns and rows. Then at even coldertemperatures, less than a millionth degree away from absolute zero, the individ-ual particles actually unify into a single material. The many become one. Thisunified state of matter is called a condensate, which is a special form of matterfirst predicted by Albert Einstein and Satyendra Bose in 1924. This unique stageof matter that exists only at super cold temperatures near absolute zero was firstcreated in a University of Colorado laboratory in 1995. Scientists weren’t able tomake time stop, but they were getting pretty close. As the cosmos cools and expands, therein moving ever nearer to zero, liter-ally all of the particles in the cosmos are moving toward becoming this singlecondensate. Condensates reflect a super orderliness near absolute zero whereparticles organize and smear together into a single unified medium. In otherwords, at the end of time all the many tiny particles become a single mediumthat is in perfect balance and is spread evenly throughout an area. Like ice cubesmelting to become a liquid, like a liquid evaporating into a gas, near the end oftime all that is left of the particles that now form stars and galaxies is an orderlycold and thinning gas that melts and evaporates into nothing but a low densityspace. This final form of matter need only be stretched a little further by cosmo-logical expansion in order to push what remains of all the matter and energy ofthe cosmos to the extreme of perfect flatness. All the known matter in thecosmos will then be converted into pure space and time will have reached theend, the absolute zero of all physics, the great ZAT.Two Boundaries in the Total Measure of All Possibilities It might be surprising to discover how near we are to absolute zero presently.Nearly fourteen billion years of expansion has produced so much empty spacebetween the galaxies, that the average temperature of the universe has beenlowered to a minus -454.74° degrees, so on the Fahrenheit scale we are less thanfive degrees away from absolute zero. In Celsius the average temperature of theuniverse is -270.415°, which is less than three degrees away from zero. Andfinally, using the Kelvin scale which astronomers use since it is based on zero,the universe is only +2.735°K degrees above zero. The universe seems verywarm living so near to a star, but out beyond the stars in deep space tempera-tures are very cold, that is, compared to where we started at Alpha.
  • 41. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 27 Now suppose we take a step backward and consider how the cosmos hasevolved from its beginning to present, which is one form of stepping outside oftime. We know that time began from, or time began very near to, an infinitelyhot Alpha, and then the cosmos expanded and cooled for billions of years,nearing zero even today. In being aware of the fact that Alpha and ZAT are theedges of what is physically possible in reality, we can now appreciate the reveal-ing fact that time originates from one extreme of nature and travels all the wayto the other extreme. The arrow below represents the direction time has takensince the big bang. The purposely simple image points out how the evolution oftime of our cosmos spans across the whole spectrum of possibilities like aclothes line in between two poles. Imagine all the alternative directions that timecould travel in. How relevant is it that time travels away from one cosmic ex-treme of an infinite heat and density all the way to the other extreme of absolutecold and zero density? Is there any discernable reason that this is the naturalcourse of time for our cosmos? Figure 3.6: Many cosmologists of the last century spoke of the universe being "finite yet with- out boundary." Actually the universe is infinite but bounded by very definitive extremes, the Alpha in our past and the Omega in our future. Without the finite, the infinite would not be infinite, it would just be indefinite and therefore nonexistent or truly chaotic. Years ago, discovering the expansion of the universe, taught us a great dealabout the past, but only recently, due to the discovery of accelerating expansion,are we discovering the larger role that absolute zero plays in physics and cos-mology. Science today is not merely coming to terms with the real and likelypossibility that in many billions of years there is an abrupt edge to time at anOmega state. We are also beginning to focus on the physically real properties ofzero. We are beginning to discover what zero actually is. The stage we are innow is quite similar to the period between 1910 and 1932 when Vesto Slipherbegan measuring the red-shifting of galaxies and later Edwin Hubble revealedhow the universe contained many different galaxies all expanding away from oneanother. It was of course many years before the majority of scientists fullyappreciated what the expansion of galaxies meant about the past, but that onepiece of knowledge has led to virtually everything we presently understand abouthow the cosmos evolves in its early stages. What secrets and mysteries about theuniverse can be uncovered as we begin to better understand the zero in ourfuture?
  • 42. 28 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Fractal Art: Study © Kerry MitchellThe probable is what usually happens.Aristotle ~~~Ultimately, the generation of probabilistic events seems to be an entirely mysteri-ous aspect of reality. Asking about it is like asking about where the initial condi-tions come from in a deterministic theory, or like asking why there is somethingrather than nothing.Matthew J. Donald ~~~Time is a child playing dice; the kingly power is a childs.Heraclitus ~~~I believe that the vacuum, being the state in which all possible physical phenom-ena are present, in a virtual way, but still present, will win the record for thehighest complexity.Carlo Rubbia ~~~Probability is the very guide of life.Marcus Cicero
  • 43. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 29The real world, according to what we understand about physics, is describedquantum-mechanically, which means, deep down, that everything has to bedescribed in terms of probabilities. The "classical" world that we perceive, inwhich every object has a definite position and moves in a deterministic way, isreally just the average of the different possibilities that the full quantum theorywould predict.Alan GuthChapter FourDescribing the Realm of All PossibilitiesA Look at How Science Presently Sees the Big Picture By the time we reach adulthood we are all at least vaguely aware of the rangeof possible events in our lives, beginning with the more probable and endingwith the highly improbable to absolutely impossible. In addition to all the ordi-nary and predictable events, like the sun rising in the morning, there is each dayalso a chance of something extraordinary happening. We might meet the perfectfriend or lover, or we might find ourselves in a car accident. We might win thelottery, or we might walk into a bank or store and find ourselves in the middle ofa robbery. Our days are usually somewhat predictable, but in everyday life thereis always a small chance that something exciting might happen. Occasionally we hear the odds of winning the lottery, the chance of an earth-quake, or a meteorite striking the earth. We hear of our chance of being in a carwreck compared to that of airplane crashes. The probabilities behind risks andopportunities flow and change depending upon where we are located, the timeof day, the time of year, and the phase of the moon, and once we make note ofit, it is surprising to realize how many of our actions and decisions are madebased solely upon probabilities. We buy insurance due to the chance somethingbad might happen. We save for a rainy day. We wait to buy a CD until we haveheard all the songs. Generally when we spend we try to invest wisely because ofthe risk of losing the value of our investment. Many pray and make self sacrificessecretly hoping to guide the future and avoid misfortune. Others eat healthy andexercise to ward off the threat of possible sickness and disease. We constantly work to stabilize and control the possible events in our lives.Yet we can be wise enough to also intentionally open ourselves up to the chanceof opportunities by adventuring into the unknown. We play with probabilities.We seek out risk. We challenge our fears. We rock climb, river raft, drive fast,strap boards to our feet and whisk down snowy mountains not only tostrengthen our sense of power and control over the chance of danger, but forthe thrill of directly challenging the possibility of injury and death.
  • 44. 30 | EVERYTHING FOREVER So much of what we do is exploring what might emerge from the realm ofpossibilities. We read the newspaper to find out which of the more improbableevents emerged from out of the whole of imaginable possibilities. Meteorolo-gists forecast a probable weather. A sporting event is a play of probabilities, thestock market is a probability investment, a walk in the park is filled with prob-abilities of what we might experience or who we might see. There isn’t much inlife we couldn’t gamble on because everything is uncertain to some degree,merely because there is so much that is equally possible. Even our ability to know things involves a measure of certainty less than theunattainable one hundred percent certainty. Our only knowledge exists in whatis probably true, not what is truly certain. What could we know with absolutecertainty when we might wake up tomorrow to find that the person we think weare was only a complex dream of something else living in an entirely differentuniverse. Our only comfort and security lies in the improbability of such thingsactually happening. We live in an intricately shaped probabilistic world, in a well defined prob-abilistic society, and we are each a complex history that creates a unique suitcaseof probabilities. Our brains are designed to calculate and navigate throughoceans of shifting probabilities. We inherit specific probabilities from our par-ents and pass them on to our children. Growing up is very much about learninghow to adapt effectively to the complex world of probabilities and the uncertain-ties it creates. Without deeper consideration it seems as if probabilities change, becausethey adjust to our changing situations, but what is probable can be predeter-mined for any given situation. We can see this easily in card games or casinogambling. The probabilities in poker or roulette can be precisely calculated andnever change based on time or place. Any gambling establishment knows thelonger a person gambles the more their losses will exceed any fortunate gains,since the games are designed with more possibilities of loosing than of winning. Of course there is also the impossible. We can’t win the lottery if we don’tbuy a ticket. We can’t be in two places at once. We can’t walk through walls. Wecan’t travel faster than the speed of light. We can’t fly like superman. Most of uscouldn’t climb Mount Everest and would die trying. The impossible is real,which is why we commonly fight against it and challenge it. On the positive side this same boundary keeps objects from materializing outof thin air in front of our cars and it keeps monsters from materializing underour beds at night. It is often said that anything is possible, but if that were reallytrue, if there wasn’t the strictly impossible, then there wouldn’t be an ordinary orthe comfortable, there wouldn’t be the dependable or predictable or consistent.Without forces and laws anything could happen and would happen.
  • 45. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 31 For some time now, scientists have known that just beyond the surface ofthe seemingly hard physical world, the individual particles that create atomsvanish into and then reemerge from an invisible realm of possibilities in a con-stant process of becoming and unbecoming. Beyond our vision, most of whatwe assume to be solidly real is really an invisible fluid of many options andalternative worlds. We call the process of moving in and out of the larger realmof possibilities quantum mechanics. All the particles of light that create a mentalpicture of the world in your mind have only just emerged from out of this fluid,only at the point of contact with your eyeball. It would be helpful if we had a map of all possibilities. It would be helpful tobe able to see the all bends and curves, the contours of potential, to know whatlies up ahead, what lies around the corner, and to know the best path to take. Itwould be helpful to understand the shape of all possibilities well enough toanswer profound but basic questions, such as, why does the possible realm placesuch limits on what happens in time? Why does it allow such wonder? Whereare we going? What is certain in the future? Many people spend their lives tryingto make such a map in their minds and many alter or oversimplify their sense ofthe real world in order to create such a map. The American physicist John Wheeler referred to the whole of possibilities asSuperspace, and the English theoretical physicist Julian Barbour named the samerealm Platonia. Scientists in different fields generally refer to possibilities as statespace, phase space, or configuration space, but the most commonly used namewe have given the possible realm is ‘Mother Nature’. Nature is the great mysticaland mysterious guardian of the actual. She is the governor, the police woman,the facilitator of the possible realm. Mother Nature’s forces regulate the physicaluniverse in harmony with the underlying hidden possibilities. The only reasonwe experience a consistent and predictable natural world is because the possiblerealm is always there hidden behind time, existing so concretely and ageless. Learning to see timelessness is first about learning to see the possible realm,which includes learning that there is a discernable shape to the whole of possi-bilities which can be modeled and understood. Of course we have to considerhow modern science today models possibilities with the second law of thermo-dynamics, which sounds like a specific law about temperature, but it is actually avery rudimentary law meant to explain why the universe evolves and changes asit does. Todays version of the second law is widely recognized as making tworelated but different statements. First it states that the loss of usable energy,called entropy, always increases. There is always a deterioration of usable energyin the universe as time passes. That part of the second law will likely never beoverturned. But the second law is unique among all the laws of science becauseit does not merely explain how this process occurs in nature based upon abottom-up study of molecular behavior. It also provides a top-down explana-tion for why entropy always increases.
  • 46. 32 | EVERYTHING FOREVERBoltzmann’s Vision of Overall Possibilities The physicist Ludwig Boltzmann wasthe first to imagine that the realm of possi-bilities has a shape and structure in 1868, ashe further developed an understanding ofnature that is known today as the secondlaw of thermodynamics. Boltzmann wastrying to understand the way that patternsevolve in nature, so he began to considerhow an invisible world of possibilities mightinfluence what is probable as the universeevolves and events unfold. He knew forexample that gases disperse evenly through-out all available space. He knew that heatdoes not remain or collect in one area butrather spreads out, moving from warmer tocolder bodies. He knew that although it is easy to break objects into smallerdisorganized pieces, like a coffee cup or a glass vase, we never see the piecesorganize themselves back together, at least not in forward time, as we would seeof a broken vase if time were reversed. Why then is forward time different thanbackward time? Boltzmann concluded the reason is because there are fewerordered possibilities than disordered possibilities. Boltzmann discovered that he could model the world of possibilities whenhe realized there are more patterns of one particular kind than another. Heconsidered patterns or states where things are organized and kept in a group, incomparison to patterns where things are broken up or dissipated throughoutsome larger area. Boltzmann realized there are more of the later type, there aremore arrangements where things are spread out and disorganized, as opposed tothe patterns where things are grouped together. The physicist Stephen Hawkingin his book A Brief History of Time uses a puzzle inside a box to effectively explainthe principles behind Boltzmann’s thinking. Hawking writes: Consider the pieces of a jigsaw [puzzle] in a box. There is one, and is only one, arrangement in which the pieces make a complete picture. On the other hand, there are a very large number of arrangements in which the pieces are disordered and dont make a picture. Suppose the pieces of the jigsaw start off in a box in the ordered arrangement in which they form a picture. If you shake the box, the pieces will take up another arrangement. This will probably be a disordered arrangement in which the pieces dont form a proper picture, simply because there are so many more disordered arrangements. Each time we shake the box we discover a new unique pattern where thepuzzle is broken apart. In fact, in considering Hawking’s explanation there
  • 47. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 33would seem to be an endless number of disordered possibilities compared to acomparatively small group of ordered ones, while there is only one single mostordered state where the puzzle fits perfectly together. Boltzmann concluded that since there are so many more disorganized anddisordered patterns than ordered patterns, the flow of time is more likely tochoose the disordered patterns over the patterns where things are increasinglyorganized into orderly groups. Essentially Boltzmann realized that a greater bodyof disordered possibilities will dominate a smaller group of ordered possibilities,causing time to have a preference for disorder. This he explained is why thingstend to spread out in an environment, it is why things tend to rust and decay,and why heat spreads out causing things to cool rather than warm up, and it iswhy broken objects don’t magically piece themselves back together. We commonly play with this principle, this natural flow to the world, in vari-ous ways, most often in games such as pool or billiards. In pool we begin bygrouping the balls together in the center of the table. We place all the balls(minus the cue ball) into various ordered shapes, in a group, then we break thatorder up by striking it hard with the cue ball, which spreads the balls out intoone of a vast number of lesser organized patterns. Every time we rack and strikethe balls they spread out into a new and unique pattern. So we move from oneof the few possible arrangements where the balls are grouped to one of themany possible arrangements where the balls are spread out. Once we havecreated disorder, we then of course try to skillfully control and re-organize thearrangement by knocking the balls into the pockets. What we never witness when playing pool is a case where after we strike thecarefully racked group of balls with the cue ball, they bounce off the sides of thetable and rebound back together into a carefully ordered pattern. They nevergroup back together again, they never line up in perfect rows, even though wemight imagine it as one of the possibilities of what could happen after a break.The probability of it actually happening is so small, it simply never happens. Thesame is true in card games. When we play cards, we hope we are dealt somemeasure of order. We want to gain cards of the same suit, such as a flush, or wewant them arranged in consecutive order, such as a straight or a run. Unfortu-nately we always face the fact that the highly ordered patterns are the moreunlikely results of a properly shuffled deck. The actual number of unique patterns in a deck of cards is rather startling.With just three cards there are six different possible configurations for thosecards to exist in. Add another card and you multiply six by four cards which istwenty four. Multiply twenty four by five cards and you have 120 combinations.With six cards you have 720 different patterns and any seven cards produces5040 unique patterns. Now it begins to get staggering. Shuffling ten cards leadsto 3,628,800 different possible patterns. And with eleven cards you multiply3,628,800 by eleven, which is almost 40 million different configurations, and so
  • 48. 34 | EVERYTHING FOREVERon and so on, until you reach all 52 cards. The total number of unique patternsin only one deck of cards ends up being a bit more than 8 followed by 67 zeros. 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Who would think one simple deck of cards could contain such a mind bog-gling number of possible configurations. And yet, now suppose you turn ashuffled deck of cards over only to find that each suit is separated and in perfectorder, just like they are when you first take a new deck of cards out of its pack-aging. Of course if you spend your whole lifetime attempting to make thishappen, shuffling a deck of cards and turning them over time and time again, itwill never occur, at least not without the trickery of a magician, and yet withinthe myriad of all possibilities the most perfectly ordered pattern is one of thepossible patterns for the cards to be in after being thoroughly shuffled. It is onlyone possibility among billions and billions of other possibilities, but it is a veryspecial possibility, because that one pattern of cards is the highest state of order.The Wedge Model We can easily graphically represent the ultimate realm of all possible statesaccording to Boltzmann’s theory of fewer ordered states. In direct recognitionof the second law, the physicist Julian Barbour portrays timelessness with awedge shape originating from an Alpha state, as shown below. Having namedhis model of all possibilities “Platonia”, in his book The End of Time Barbourwrites, “Platonia is necessarily skew. It is easy to imagine that the cone ‘funnelsentanglement outwards’, much as a trumpeter blows air from a bugle” (pg. 321). Figure 4.1: Barbour’s model of state space reflects how many scientists imag- ine the realm of all possibilities based upon Boltzmann’s second law of ther- modynamics.
  • 49. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 35 In this diagram, along a horizontal axis the number of ordered states de-creases toward an ever fewer measure of highly ordered states, while in theopposite direction the measure of disordered states increases. I will be referringto this as the wedge model. This representation of the large-scale structure ofpossibilities has been portrayed albeit reservedly in science books as closing atthe end of highest possible order which is often assumed to be where timebegins, while in the other direction, the number of disordered possibilitiesgrows, and the general assumption is usually of an endless and indefinite expan-sion of disordered states without end. Barbour writes: By sheer logical necessity, Platonia is profoundly asymmetric. Like Triangle Land, it is a lopsided continent with a special point Alpha corresponding to the configu- ration in which every particle is at the same place. From this singular point, the timeless landscape opens out, flower-like, to points that represent configurations of the Universe of arbitrary size and complexity. Barbour imagines the possible realm in greater detail than anyone previouslybased upon the idea that the structure of timelessness can be understood byimagining all the possible triangles that can be formed by three particles. Heexplains his ideas generally in the passage below: Most strikingly, it [the possible realm] is lopsided with a most definite end and frontiers that are there by sheer logical necessity. For example, if you consider triangles as Nows, the land of these Nows comes to an absolute end in the degen- erate triangle in which all three particles coincide. This point is so special I call it Alpha. Other frontiers, like ribs, are formed by the special triangles in which two particles coincide and the third is at some distance from them. Finally, another kind of frontier is formed by collinear configurations — all the three particles are on one line. The Platonia for triangles is like a pyramid with three faces. Its apex is Alpha. All the points on its faces correspond to collinear configurations, and the faces meet in the ribs formed by the triangles with two coincident vertices. It is not hard to recognize that Barbour’s ideas are working from the bottomup. He is essentially trying to break all physical reality down to the coordinatesof three particles which is wonderfully fundamental, and triangles may be rele-vant as a way of understanding patterns, but then the difficulty is in showinghow all possible triangulated particles might produce such a complex universewhere we seem to experience time. In his book Barbour describes Alpha as butting up against nothingness andfrom there extending outward without end, “for there is no limit to the richnessof being”. How the timeless existence of Alpha relates to a primordial nothing-ness toward the past isn’t explained in his book, but it seems more reasonable toimagine that an eternal Platonia excludes the very existence of a nothingness ofthe type inferred, since Platonia has always been and always will be. On theother hand, if Barbour’s nothing isn’t considered to be nonexistence, and rather
  • 50. 36 | EVERYTHING FOREVERa physically real nothing, then it should be treated as just one of the manypossible conditions in Platonia. Using Barbour’s ideas, one might also conclude that the whole of all possibletriangles ultimately combine together to create a superspace that extends infi-nitely in all directions. If such a state were acknowledged, it would also need aproper location in the wedge model. But in being different than Alpha, wherewould we locate it in the wedge? Although the model of timelessness explained here in this book is far moredeveloped and more easily understood than Barbour’s Platonia, in the followingpassage Barbour recognizes some basic principles we both share concerningtimelessness: My conjecture is that some Platonia is the true arena of the universe and that its structure has a deep influence on whatever physics, classical or quantum, is played out in it. In particular, I believe the phenomenon that we call the Big Bang is not some violent explosion that took place in the distant past. It is simply the highly special place in Platonia that I call Alpha. I originally began to envision the timeless universe in my youth, before I wasinfluenced too severely by the materialistic and reductionistic tendencies thatexist in science and particularly in physics. I made what I thought back then wasan obvious conclusion. The direction of time is moving toward nothingness,rather than moving away from nothingness. This early conclusion allowed me tolet go of the paradoxical necessity that physical existence somehow begins orevolves from a nothing, and it allowed me eventually to more easily considerother possibilities and reevaluate how we presently conceptualize nothing.The Law is the Law Boltzmann’s version of the second law has become a true paradigm of mod-ern science which physicists rarely scrutinize. Although there were early objec-tions to the asymmetry of Boltzmann’s vision in his own time, the most vocaladvocate of the second law lived in the era of Einstein. The famous astrophysi-cist Arthur Eddington designated the second law as holding “the supremeposition among the laws of nature”. Eddington once remarked, “If someonepoints out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement withMaxwells equations, then so much the worse for Maxwells equations. And ifyour theory contradicts the facts, well, sometimes these experimentalists makemistakes. But if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermo-dynamics, I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse indeepest humiliation.” Albert Einstein himself remarked generally of thermodynamic laws, saying“[A theory] is more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises, themore different are the kinds of things it relates, and the more extended its range
  • 51. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 37of applicability. Therefore, the deep impression which classical thermodynamicsmade on me. It is the only physical theory of universal content which I amconvinced, that within the framework of applicability of it basic concepts willnever be overthrown.” Seth Lloyd, a professor of engineering at MIT onceremarked that “Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes and the second lawof thermodynamics.” The basic concepts which Boltzmann proposed in the 1860’s have remainedrelatively unchanged for over a hundred years. One of the main reasons scien-tists hold the second law in such high esteem is that it provides for science a rareability to appreciate a reason “why” behind a law of nature, even if that reason isthe uncomfortable preponderance of disorder or chaos. Another reason thesecond law is so prized is that the second law explains something as vital astime’s arrow. It explains a fundamental difference between the past and future.The past is always more ordered than the present, and the future is always lessordered than the present, which makes the second law a perfect companion toour observations of an expanding universe as well as the big bang theory. Figure 4.2: The Basic Wedge Model synchronizes with how many scientists envision the evolution of time based upon the big bang model. Obviously, just looking at the wedge model one can see how the second lawsupports the big bang model, since as time is traced backward the universe mustexist in increasingly higher states of density and order. Boltzmann could havepredicted the big bang after 1868 purely from his basic concepts, long beforeHubble discovered the expanding universe around 1930. Boltzmann surelywould have made such a prediction except that he had no idea that space cancontract or expand. He certainly never imagined that space can be removedfrom the universe, and so he never considered that the whole universe couldphysically collapse inward or be expanding outward. Perhaps a young Einstein had an even better opportunity to predict the bigbang by combining his new theory of relativity with Boltzmann’s second law,since Einstein’s own theory originally indicated that space should collapse due togravity. In his day, Einstein and others believed that the stars and galaxies had
  • 52. 38 | EVERYTHING FOREVERexisted in time forever, so Einstein invented a make believe force he called thecosmological constant which held the large-scale universe in a steady unchangingstate. Later, after the expansion of the universe was discovered, Einstein consid-ered this tweaking of his own theory to be his greatest blunder, because herealized he had invented a force to explain an assumption he was making aboutthe universe, instead of accepting his theory at face value.The Reason “Why” Behind Time Now in taking a step backward, and looking at the second law and what wehave discussed so far, we can appreciate how the second law suggests thatprobabilities are the fundamental force driving the evolution of time. Thisfundamental method of comparing types of possibilities (ordered and disor-dered) has provided us a reason for why events happen as they do. I am pointingthis out because Boltzmann’s general approach is the only major explanation of“why” the universe works as it does presently known to science. So far we arevery adept at describing how things work, but we know very little about why theuniverse is the way it is. So the second law is unusually important compared tomost other science because it provides a general reason for why time movesforward and it indicates the past is different than the future. In fact as a type ofscience, as a way of understanding the universe, the study of possibilities isactually a rather unexplored field in science. The second law is very general. Forexample it doesn’t explain why there are forces active in time such as gravity andelectromagnetism which work to order the universe. And Boltzmann’s descrip-tion of possibilities does not explain why we experience a systematic and coop-erative natural world. In fact, although the abundance of disordered possibilitiessuggests a reason for the direction of time, it accomplishes little else. As an important side note, in order for the second law to explain anything,our universe and the flow of time must somehow originate in a highly orderedstate. In fact this is a tremendously important issue, and it is an unresolvedproblem with the second law. The key requirement underlying the second law isthat a system has to originate in a condition of high order to then probabilisti-cally evolve towards disorder. As Stephen Hawking also explains: Suppose a system [or a universe] starts out in one of the small number of ordered states. As time goes by, the system [or universe] will evolve according to the laws of science and it will change. At a later time, it is more probable that the system [or universe] will be in a disordered state than in an ordered one because there are more disordered states. Thus disorder will tend to increase in time if the system [or universe] obeys an initial condition of high order. (pg.146) [my comments] Science doesn’t yet know for certain why a universe ever managed to begin,or why it began so highly ordered, scientists just believe that once time beginsthe flow is naturally toward greater disorder. So a considerable stumbling block
  • 53. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 39of Boltzmann’s vision is that it doesn’t explain how the universe started off pre-organized, which one might say contradicts the law itself. How could the uni-verse ever have organized itself into the most ordered state in all of nature, or atleast very near to it, if that state is logically and mathematically so improbable?From another angle, why would the universe pre-exist in a timeless ordered stateif that order is so unstable and instantly decays once time begins? Boltzmann himself found this issue difficult to explain, and the only answerhe came up with he attributed to Dr. Schuetz, who was Boltzmann’s assistant atthe time. Long before the big bang theory, the two entertained the idea that ifthe universe was sufficiently old and sufficiently vast then given enough time theproper materials will accumulate in some region of space, producing a highlyordered state that would then decay. Of this Boltzmann wrote: If we assume the universe great enough, we can make the probability of one rela- tively small part being in any given state (however far from the state of thermal equilibrium), as great as we please. We can also make the probability great that, though the whole universe is in thermal equilibrium, our world is in its present state. It may be said that the world is so far from thermal equilibrium that we can- not imagine the improbability of such a state. But can we imagine, on the other side, how small a part of the whole universe this world is? Assuming the universe great enough, the probability that such a small part of it as our world should be in its present state, is no longer small. Of course without any knowledge of the big bang theory Boltzmann only feltit necessary to explain the degree of order that the world existed in back in thepre-modern era when he lived. Today, in knowing the universe is increasinglydenser in the past we have to explain how time began in a far more highlyordered state. Boltzmann’s explanation would suggest the universe has existedlong enough to defy all probability and evolve into the most ordered state of all,a state endlessly more improbable than shuffling and finding the deck of cards inperfect order. Pretty amazing considering the hands I get dealt in poker. With all this said, after learning the ideas that support the second law, mostpeople appreciate the logic but many feel like something isn’t quite right, likesomething must be missing from the equation. Regardless of how perfectlylogical the second law seems, most people recognize that in contrast to theuncomplicated order of an increasingly dense past there also exists a complexorderliness that has increased as the universe has evolved forward in time. Howcan the second law be true with so much orderliness to account for? Why is somuch order maintained from one moment to the next throughout the course oftime? In ways the universe is far more ordered than it was in the past. Atomicstructure, galaxies and star systems, people, the human world, all appear to be ofa more complex kind of order than the simple density of the big bang. If thesecond law explains the arrow of time, shouldn’t the universe have simply
  • 54. 40 | EVERYTHING FOREVERdecayed from the first moment? Most importantly, why are there systematicforces of nature that work against the trend toward disorder? Actually there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that Boltz-mann modeled all possible states. The second law is not a complete explanationof how the large-scale realm of all possibilities guides the flow of time. The basicapproach that Boltzmann used was correct and ingenious. He was correct tofocus on order. His way of considering how one ultimate group of possibilitiescompetes with another ultimate group of possibilities is critically important as amethod of understanding the probabilistic world we live in. But today we have amuch broader picture of what is physically possible. We know the universe isexpanding. We even know the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Andtoday we know the direction of time is moving directly toward the extreme stateof absolute zero. Where then do we locate absolute zero in the realm of possibilities?Zero and the Wedge Model The wedge model is a descriptive representation of how Boltzmann’s secondlaw describes all possibilities, and yet it is not widely used in science educationmainly due to one reason. The logic seems flawless and irrefutable but when thesecond law is translated into a visual image, the ambiguity of portraying anendless extension of disordered possibilities becomes quite pronounced and isquite unsettling. Visually the model raises a lot of questions that otherwise aremute. Note the question mark in the diagram of the wedge model below. Doesthe measure of disordered possibilities continue indefinitely? Is there a boundaryin the direction of increasing disorder? Most importantly, where is the extremeof absolute zero located within this gradient of order to disorder? Figure 4.3: The classic Wedge Model of all possible states imagines reality is dominated by disorder and chaos. A small special region of order exists in con- trast to an endless measure of disordered states. However, this conception of real- ity conveniently ignores the fact that absolute zero inevitably exists out there somewhere.
  • 55. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 41 Does the expanding measure of disordered states really continue endlessly?The reader should already sense that the wedge does not extend indefinitelybecause opposite the Alpha state there is also an extreme of absolute zero.Hawking’s puzzle in a box can be expanded to include the pattern where the boxis empty. All the cards in a deck can be blank. When we play the various gamesof billiards we hit the balls into pockets around the table until there are none lefton the slate. In addition to all the other patterns there is also the pattern whereall objects or things are removed in some way, where parts are hidden or madeformless. There is always the single extreme pattern where all things are com-bined together and everyplace is the same. With cosmological expansion acceler-ating it becomes quite noticeable that a wedge or a cone cannot represent allpossible states because it leaves out a very important boundary. Absolute zero isn’t a myth. Science just didn’t find it where we expected it tobe. We expected to find it in the past immediately preceding the point wheretime begins, however, in actuality, when we move in the direction of the past wemove toward the top end of physics, approaching infinite mass, infinite energy,infinite density, and infinite heat. There is no evidence to suggest that an ulti-mate zero ever existed in the direction of our past. There is no valid reason tosuspect or believe some type of absolute nothing ever existed before Alpha. Inreverse of what we expect, the nothingness of absolute zero is distinctly evidentin the direction of our future, not the past. The absolute zero in our future is thebottom end of physics, at the complete other end of the scale. And now thatscientists have discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating weare being forced to acknowledge zero as an extreme where the universe isstretched perfectly flat. Which means the universe isn’t merely moving towardincreasing disorder, as the second law suggests. The extreme of zero distinctlyappears to exist beyond disorder, on the other side of what we presently imagineas a great bulk of disordered states, so there are extremes at both ends of timethat bound the realm of all possibilities. Large-Scale Realm of All Possibilities Figure 4.4: Cosmic Absolutes: Even a totally Infinite Universe that includes all possibilities is bounded by two extremes of possibility, beyond which no other possibilities exist. With an Alpha boundary and a Zero boundary, we can roughly draw a picture of the large-scale realm of possibilities. Why is our single universe moving toward zero and even accelerating in that direction, seemingly being pulled toward absolute zero?
  • 56. 42 | EVERYTHING FOREVER For odd reasons, our envisioning of all possible states has been missing astate of absolute zero, as well as the inevitable decreasing number of states in thegradation of states approaching the single state of zero. It isn’t like scientistshaven’t known that an absolute zero is out there somewhere in the space of allpossible states, so why has the natural boundary of zero been excluded and notacknowledged when scientists have envisioned all possible states? Also, whydon’t we expect the universe will eventually become a perfectly flat spaceconsidering we live in an expanding universe? There are various reasons whymodern science in the past has failed to integrate an absolute zero state into therealm of all possibilities, one reason being how loudly the second law was de-fended by Sir Arthur Eddington and others. But more so the reason was becauseEinstein himself rejected the notion of empty space existing independently ofmaterial objects, which made the very idea of empty space extremely unpopularfor many years. Before we discovered expansion accelerating in 1998, the expan-sion rate was thought to be slowing down at an ever decreasing rate, and time inan ever cooling universe was theorized as not having an end, so it seemed okayonly a few years ago to imagine that the progression of disordered states in thewedge continues without end. And of course in the big crunch scenario, which until recently most physi-cists favored, any scientific concern about whether the quantity of disorderedpossibilities are actually endless is somewhat irrelevant because the universestops expanding and returns to Alpha. Had the big crunch scenario turned outto be correct it would have kept zero out of the picture altogether. And since noone ever imagined the universe would simply disappear back into an originalnothingness after the big crunch, we might never have rediscovered zero. Butsince discovering accelerating expansion the big crunch theory is old news, whilethe complete absence of zero in the future, as portrayed by the wedge model, issuddenly very pronounced. The extremities of zero have certainly become anissue as scientists freshly consider the range of possible futures. Unfortunately today discussing ZAT as if it is a real physical condition is stillcontroversial, even frowned upon. For example, when the Dartmouth physicistRobert Caldwell presented the Big Rip scenario in a scientific journal article heinvariably described time as ending at the ultimate singularity, but even thismention was very reserved for a paper describing the fact that time may endspecifically due to the extremities of absolute zero and flat space. Undeniably, the notion of empty space is difficult to imagine or reconcileconceptually. We tend to look at zero from our place within a world of things,so we see zero as zero things. Zero has often been semantically confused withnonexistence, even though the real zero, the common point of absolute zero inphysics, is one of the most fundamental axioms in all of science. Why has zerobeen overlooked? It has just been a blind spot in science, inevitable perhaps andreasonably so, but we are slowly awakening to the reality of a zero future.
  • 57. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 43 What is Reality really like out there? Once we include zero in the set of all possible states, a plethora of new ques-tions arise that demand to be answered. How should we conceptually describeabsolute zero? What happens to the existence of our universe if time ends atOmega zero? Why would time travel all the way to absolute zero if that state isthe extreme edge of what is possible? How do we reconcile absolute zero inreference to order and disorder? Should zero be described as the most disor-dered state, or is zero something all together different in terms of order anddisorder? These are just some of the questions that must now be answered. What follows in the next chapter is so basic and fundamental that it seemslike something that should have been discussed years ago in the time of Galileoand Newton, or perhaps even further back in history by ancient philosophers.However, it wasn’t exposed or discovered back then plainly enough to be passedon to us, so here we are discovering something very basic about the universeamidst so much other information. It is not easy to relearn fundamentals, butwhen we begin to wake up to the reality of zero and confront its nature and itsrole in time, what is explained in this next chapter is what we discover.
  • 59. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 45A Brief Foreword to the Two Kinds of Order So far on this planet we cant seem to grasp a full understanding of the Uni-verse. We dont even understand how or why anything exists. Is the Universecomprehensible? Consider all that we have accomplished already. And yetsomething is wrong, we even know something is wrong, but we cant see theproblem to fix it. What is this problem we cant see? We have recently entered a new millennium and interestingly there were sev-eral major new discoveries in science that will undoubtedly mark the present asthe beginning of a great time of discovery. We are also approaching a remarkableparadigm shift as we learn to understand physical reality in a new light, a shiftnot only in physics and cosmological science, but more so in the general waythat we humans view the universe. This paradigm shift marks the beginning of agreat age of reason, where humankind begins to fully understand the whole. What is the problem we can’t see? Presently the most fundamentally impor-tant concept we use to understand the universe is faulty, that being our under-standing of order. Presently we think in terms of order and disorder. And that isthe problem, because there are actually two kinds of order in nature, rather thansimply order and disorder. And once we recognize the two orders, once we fixthe problem in how we see the world, suddenly the entire flow of time and theworld of human events appear as an interplay of two contrasting orders, whilethe idea of general disorder or chaos gradually loses its meaning. Two orders isas important as Einsteins Relativity or Quantum Theory. What follows opens usup to the true Universe to create a far deeper comprehension of time and our-selves.
  • 60. 46 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Fractal Art: Bubbles © Kerry Mitchell While empty space appears to be devoid of properties, to a modern parti- cle physicist empty space, also called the vacuum, is an enormously complicated substance. Alan Guth ~~~ Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo ~~~ Something deeply hidden had to be behind things. Albert Einstein ~~~ We think the world apart. What would it be like to think the world to- gether? Parker Palmer
  • 61. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 47The problem of finding the one thing that lies behind all things in the universe iscalled the problem of the one and the many. Basically stated, the problem of the one andthe many begins from the assumption that the universe is one thing. Because it is onething, there must be one, unifying aspect behind everything. This aspect could bematerial, such as water, or air, or atoms. It could be an idea, such as number, or "mind." Itcould be divine, such as the Christian concept of God or the Chinese concept of Shang-ti, the "Lord on High." The problem, of course, is figuring out what that one, unifyingidea is.Richard HookerChapter FiveCaught Between Two Kinds of OrderA System of Understanding the Order in the Universe In the same way that the presence of a universe seems like a miracle, as ifthere should instead be nothing at all, so also are we perplexed at the order thatis such an elementary part of the universe in which we live. There should insteadbe chaos, it seems, rather than the one particular universe observed, for wenaturally consider the infinity of less consistent, less trustworthy, and morechaotic, worlds that might exist instead. Yet suppose for a moment a rarelyconsidered idea, that this universe is not actually unordinary or improbable, andinstead we ourselves are making some critical mistake in how we see the world, amistake which if we could somehow see beyond, suddenly the order in theuniverse would seem exactly how things should be. Very simply stated, at present most everyone, even a scientist, believes orderis properly defined with a single concept. In most dictionaries order is defined as“a comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group.”Disorder is commonly defined as chaos, clutter, confusion, derangement, disar-ray. If we translate our sense of order into an image, we would draw an axis,with greater order in one direction and disorder in the opposite direction. Thusif the order of a pattern increases its disorder must decrease. Although the following is more developed than our existing vague definitionsof a general order and disorder, the basics of what I am about to explain arentvery complex or difficult to envision. We all know a great deal more about thissubject than we realize because of our immersion in nature and because of ourparticipation in the ordered flow of time. As it turns out, we are surrounded bytwo kinds of order which oppose one another and yet work together to create allthe complex and diverse patterns we experience. One order comes to us fromthe past, while the other order comes from the future.
  • 62. 48 | EVERYTHING FOREVERGrouping Order The type of order we are all most accustomed to recognizing is Grouping Orderwhich can be understood as any class, or similar kind of thing grouped together,and located in a specific area or separate place usually apart from another group.Grouping order is the precursor of things and responsible for the definition weknow as the finite world. It is very common and very easy to recognize. Bynature, the identity of like things grouped together becomes more pronounced.Things stand out more as a group. For example, when we go to thestore, there are groups and sub-groupsof different products, each groupedseparately from one another. At anygrocery store the apples, the oranges,the bananas, each of the vegetables, aregrouped together separately. Productsare also grouped into larger groups, themeat section, the bakery section, thedairy section. If all the fruit was dis-played mixed together with all thevegetables only the largest individual items would stand out. Yet separated, eachgroup is very defined and pronounced. In fact we find grouping in every store,every business, every city. Likewise, stores and businesses are grouped apartfrom residential areas. At home we keep the socks, tee-shirts, and underclothes each in their ownplace in the dresser drawer. The dishes are kept in the cupboards, and thecanned food is kept together in another cupboard. Books are all grouped to-gether in a library, where they are organized into sub-groups by subject or title.When we communicate with others, when we convey ideas in writing, we tendto discuss one topic at a time, and we prioritize our subjects. There are placeswhere we congregate to do things, where we shop, where we eat, where we pray,where we play. Everywhere we humans inhabit we group things together asopposed to the chaos of individual items being randomly located throughout aroom or a space. Figure 5.3: Generally, in the direction of Grouping Order objects are more dense within a frame of reference, in extreme creating a more pronounced single object, as when stacked checkers become a king.
  • 63. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 49 In science the classic example of order given is a concentration of gas parti-cles contained within a flask, as opposed to the gas being spread throughout aroom, which is said to be disordered. But we could recognize a concentration ofgas particles more specifically to be grouping order. A prototype idea to represent grouping order is the game of checkers orchess. To begin the game we divide the pieces apart and place pieces of onecolor on one side and the other color on the opposite side. With the piecespreviously mixed together randomly inside a box we would say that they weredisordered or mixed irregularly, until weseparated them by color into two distinctwell organized groups.Symmetry Order Grouping order is not the only kind of order we find in our surroundings.We actually exist in nature between two different kinds of order. The other typeof order is best referred to as Symmetry Order which if I simplify its definitionto extreme is an even and regular pattern or arrangement in which all differenttypes of things are combined together and distributed evenly throughout thewhole frame of reference. Where grouping order divides and separates thingsinto many groups, symmetry order mixes and combines things together evermore evenly. Grouping Order Symmetry Order Figure 5.4: Grouping Order moves toward division and sepa- ration while Symmetry Order moves toward balance, integra- tion, and unity. The prototype idea for symmetry order is also the game of checkers or chess,that is, if we set the pieces aside and focus our attention on the board on whichthe games are played. A simple checkerboard is obviously ordered but we nor-mally might not reflect upon it as a special type of order, however, consider howthe checkerboard is ordered in an opposite way to that of the game piecesseparated into two groups. The colored squares of a checkerboard are mixedtogether evenly, white, black, white black, while the next row alternates black,white, black, white. Where the game pieces begin perfectly grouped apart, thesquares of a checkerboard lattice are mixed together evenly, making the twopatterns opposites.
  • 64. 50 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Each square in the checkerboard lattice is a measure of grouping order. Sowe can increase the symmetry order of a checkerboard by dividing up eachsquare into smaller, finer squares and then mix them back together again into afiner checkerboard lattice, which decreases grouping order and increases symme-try order. If we divide up each square and continue to mix the squares andcolors evenly, increasing the measure of balance, the black and white squaresvisually merge like two colors of paint to finally become a neutral gray. Once thepattern is made uniform, we have reached an extreme. There are no furtherpossibilities in the direction of symmetry, because we have produced a oneness.Many things or many colors have unified into a balanced whole. Of course asimple pattern of gray doesn’t appear to be ordered at all, which has been thestumbling block in the past. It is why we don’t commonly recognize that thereare two opposing directions of order in nature, because while grouping orderproduces an obvious order, symmetry order produces a hidden type of order. Figure 5.5: As Grouping Order decreases another form of order, Sym- metry Order increases towards an extreme of perfect balance and uni- formity. In this example, the uniform gray color is only one type of order so it looksplain to us. Keep in mind that the word symmetry refers to the measure ofsameness in a pattern. Nothing is more visually symmetrical than everythingpainted the same color. Even though a checkerboard pattern seems to be moreordered than a simple gray color, the single uniform gray is hiding its order. It ishiding its fine structure and its fullness beneath its uniformity the same way anuncut pie doesn’t show all the pieces it can be cut into. Suppose we take two cans of paint, red and yellow, and we pour them to-gether into a larger bucket, and then stir them together. Just a moment ago wehad two separate and distinct colors, but now we only have one. We try addinganother color to the stir, blue, and the distinction of that color disappears also.With paint the product of many assorted colors is brown. Brown soil is the mostcommon case of many individual things, a variety of chemicals and minerals,combining together to create an integrated less pronounced medium we oftenderogatorily call dirt. The idea already mentioned of taking everything in the frigand cooking it into a thick paste applies here also. There is nothing much excit-ing about dirt or paste because we don’t appreciate mediums and balances. Inbeing indistinct they seem hardly more than nothing at all. It is only when webegin to notice how many even distributions and symmetries we observe aroundus that we begin to appreciate the great power of symmetry order.
  • 65. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 51 There isn’t merely one kind of order where things form distinct powerfulgroups, there is also a direction where previously distinct separate objects orcolors unify into a single form. Increasing symmetry order ultimately causes ashift in the nature of the pattern, since in the final stage of balance, what beforewere distinct and separate things end up as one, not one group, rather oneoverall form that takes over an area or a volume. Most everyone knows that if we shine white light through a glass prism wefind that the content of white light includes an entire rainbow of other colors.Where did all these colors come from? The prism merely exposes how the coloris somehow embedded in the fullness of white light. Typically this is not how wethink. We tend to think from the bottom-up rather than from the top-down. Werefer to certain colors as primary colors and imagine for example that yellow andblue combine together to create green, while yellow and red create orange, andred and blue create purple. We further mix colors to create the tertiary colors, ora third level of colors all produced by the primary colors. We imagine the pri-mary colors are fundamental and create all other colors, and in this same way ofthinking, scientists today imagine that atoms are fundamental and create theuniverse, not the other way around. Yet we all know there is the top-downperspective where all colors are born out of the true primary color that is white.If we stay in the top-down perspective then orange is a primary color thatdivides into yellow and red, or a primary green divides into blue and yellow, or aprimary purple divides to create red and blue. The top-down is a whole otherway of looking at things where a seeming formless whole divides apart intolesser colors and lesser shapes. The same general principle can be applied to thespace that surrounds us. Matter isn’t more than space, matter is of space. We actually see evidences of the whole are all around us. Lesser measures ofsymmetry order exist everywhere. Where ever you are as you read this, you caneasily observe something uniform, or something spaced or mixed evenly in yourenvironment. Every mass of material is grouping order, but all the balances anduniformities in the world are of symmetry order. Figure 5.6: Recognizing the two orders leads us to specify any measure of balance as a separate component of a pattern distinctly separate from the order of grouping. Any even- ness, sameness, or balance in a pattern is an expression of symmetry order.
  • 66. 52 | EVERYTHING FOREVER It can be surprising to notice at first how opposite grouping order and sym-metry order are to one another. In the image below, we see the extreme resultsof each direction of order, with the checkerboard lattice caught in the middlebetween both orders. On the left the contrast and pronunciation of the patternhas increased to an extreme of white and black. On the right side the individual-ity of black and white squares of the checkerboard has dissolved into a neutralgray. All definitive form has been given over to the uniformity of a single color.On the right the many squares become a single whole. Figure 5.7: Above, in one direction of order away from the checkered pattern the parts form two pure groups of opposition and difference, while in the other direction the parts merge into one color. Below, the same principle but presented in terms of matter and in three dimensions. Toward grouping order matter unifies into increasingly dense objects such as stars while in the direction of symmetry order, equal positive and negative particles anni- hilate (unify and hide) to leave behind the singular uniformity we know as space. When we separate and group any two likenesses apart, be it apples from or-anges, large coins from small coins, men from women, matter from anti-matter,or any imaginable classification, we invariably create an imbalance. In terms ofmatter, when all the positive particles in the cosmos are grouped apart from allthe negative particles, we have reached the perfect extreme of imbalance wherethere are no other possibilities in the direction of further grouping order. This isimportant because it essentially means that what is ultimately possible isbounded by a grouping order extreme. Just as there is an Alpha boundary inscience, there is a boundary to what is possible of grouping order. There also exists a symmetry order extreme. When we combine things to-gether evenly the distinction and qualities of separate things also combinetogether to create the balanced sum and whole of all parts. The squares of acheckerboard lattice become gray, making everyplace within the dimensions ofthe board identical. Many colors become one color. Matter and anti-matter whencombined together, even the infinity of all possible universes combined to-gether, become the singularity of space. Pushed to extreme, symmetry order
  • 67. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 53naturally produces sameness and oneness, even though nothing of what existedbefore is actually lost to the unity. Each quality forms the whole because eachquality was always a fragment or an abstraction taken from the whole. The process of definitive objects and colors merging into a singular form isterribly under-appreciated and completely misunderstood at this time in history.We are constantly experiencing similar uniformities in our surroundings wheremany parts are forming a whole, but if we don’t see the parts we often wronglyevaluate the whole to be a ‘nothingness’, when it is really an ‘everything’. Conse-quently in regards to understanding order, we are in a sense only seeing one sideof the coin. We are only appreciating grouping order. We are only respecting thedirection of order where things group into a larger object (which is actuallyalways an imbalance). When we see a plain white canvas hanging on a wall,instead of thinking it represents nothing, we can see an integration of all colorshiding behind that oneness. We should know it as an ‘everything’ color, sinceotherwise we are being perceptually lazy.Finding Two Kinds of Order in Nature In recognizing the order of balance and symmetry apart from the order ofgrouping, we can now begin to identify the two orders separately in virtuallyevery imaginable scenario. We can view complex images and patterns andidentify the two orders separately. We can look out at the universe and see thetwo orders working together. We can also learn to see the two orders as twovery basic processes occurring everywhere in the dynamic flow of time. Oneorder exists in extreme in our past. The other order exists in extreme in ourfuture. In one direction of change, toward the past, matter separates into ele-mentary parts, while in the other direction, toward the future, the universeintegrates those parts into a whole. These two fundamental directions of changeare clearly opposite of one another, which is what necessarily defines two verydifferent types of order. The great hierarchy of grouping order beginswith the massive group of atoms we call a star, themost noticeable feature of the universe. Then ournearby star, the sun and its nearby planets andasteroids, all held together by gravity, form thegroup we call a solar system. Then at another level,all the stars and their planets are gravitationallygrouped into galaxies, which often contain billionsand trillion of stars. Beyond even the galaxies, there are still larger groups, thereare thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity called clusters and super-clusters. As we shall see later, gravity, the force that produces all these groups isthe forceful influence of grouping order.
  • 68. 54 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Elliptical and Spiral Galaxies Atomic Orbitals (Simple Hydrogen) Figure 5.8: We see in galaxies and atoms the range of patterns from simple grouping order on the right side to the complexities of two kinds of order working together on the left. We can easily learn to identify and distinguish between grouping and symmetry in all patterns in nature, from the macro-world of galaxies to the micro-world of atoms. The Earth is a complex study of grouping order, from its iron core to its di-verse crust. The divide between land and ocean, as well as the layers of theEarth’s atmosphere, are obvious examples of grouping order. All of our naturalresources, coal, natural gases, petroleum, minerals such as copper, silver, andgold, require like atoms to form large pure groups. Of course the entire table ofelements is a classification arisen from grouping order, and there are familygroups of elements such as metalloids and noble gases which have similarproperties. Generally there are three basic groups; pure gases, solids, and liquids. All the increasingly distinct groups we know of exist in stark contrast to an-other universe we might imagine completely void of the value of grouping,where all the elements are spread chaotically throughout space so that therewould be no stars or planets, just an unruly cosmic soup of atoms. Further still,we can imagine even the absence of sub-atomic particles where the universe isjust smooth fluidic plasma, a dense nothingness spread evenly across the entirevolume of an infinite space. While groups of elements and solar masses give the universe its definitionand bring about order as we know it, the universe also combines and fusesdifferent materials together producing various patterns of increased symmetryorder. The oceans, the soil, and the atmosphere of the Earth, each contain avaried mixture of unique materials. Rock, glass, wood, soil, plastics, and metalssuch as bronze and steel are all admixtures of atomic materials. The mysteriouslysystematic and ordered universe is not simply chemical elements existing in pureform, the ninety three pure elements that occur naturally on Earth also combinetogether creating a nearly endless array of cooperative coordinated materials.Where like atoms form distinct and pronounced groups, unlike atoms bond to
  • 69. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 55produce thousands of different molecules, compounds, and solutions in ourenvironment. In the larger world, as in the small, there are rhythms, cycles, orbits and oscil-lations, which all reflect measures of balance. Patterns are always coordinated,repetitious, and consistent around some point of balance. And pattern balancesexist everywhere. We don’t simply group things, we also arrange things evenly,we space things out rhythmically, we try to balance our lives, and we believe it allevens out in the end. Balances are everywhere in nature. Across the vast reachesof space there is an isotropic distribution of galaxies as far as our telescopes cansee. We don’t look out at the overall universe and see all the galaxies grouped inone direction and nothing but dark voids in other directions. Nor do we seedistant inexplicable regions where the laws of physics shaping our region of theuniverse don’t seem to apply. Even the governing of reality is evenly distributed. The reason all these distinctions can be pointed out is because there is notsimply order in the direction of our past and disorder in the direction of ourfuture. Rather like an ultimate chess game, time as we know it is literally the onetype of order transforming into the opposite type of order. That process forcesthe two types of order to compete and cooperate together in creating the entirerange of simple to complex patterns we observe in nature. The two orders worktogether to create the complexity of our experience. We live in the great divide between the extremes of two kinds of order, sowe can’t help but know the natures of these two types of order because weencounter them everywhere we turn. In imagining dividing up the game piecesof checkers we can recognize the nature of grouping order. Words such asopposition, distinctiveness, definition, pronunciation, duality, and conflict, alldescribe the nature of grouping order. All result of dividing the whole into itsconstituent parts. Grouping order turns small differences into great differences.Then in imagining many colors becoming one or the way the checkered latticetransformed into the complete uniformity of gray we can recognize the nature ofsymmetry order. Words such as unity, sameness, similarity, integration, combina-tion, harmony, and oneness describe the nature of symmetry order. We shalleventually discover quite vividly how these two basic natures give shape to andrule the universe.Grouping and Symmetry as Separate Components of a Pattern The key to distinguishing between grouping order and symmetry order in-volves recognizing properties of grouping and symmetry as entirely separatecomponents of a pattern. Once the two orders are identified and understood itbecomes apparent that the entire variety of simple to complex patterns in natureare forced to utilize two different types of order, this being true even of what weconsider to be disorder.
  • 70. 56 | EVERYTHING FOREVER To begin to recognize how the two orders cooperate to create orderlinessand complexity, we shall start off with a few very basic patterns in which the twoorders are both separate in one way and combined in another. Each patternbelow utilizes both grouping and symmetry order in a unique way. Notice howthe arrows show these simple patterns of order are actually two types of orderworking together.Ordered Rows Ordered Rings Ordered Spirals Figure 5.9: It is not difficult to learn to recognize how any pattern is composed of both grouping and symmetry order properties. In the first example above, grouping is necessary to create the vertical rows, and mixing creates the hori- zontal symmetry. In the ringed pattern, which is rows in a closed circular pat- tern, the grouping of a common material creates each ring, while the layers create oscillating rings. In similar fashion a spiral is an elegant and attractive mix of rows and rings. In each pattern shown above, one of the two orders is dominating in one di-rection while the other dominates in another direction, shown by the arrows.The exclusivity and opposition of the two orders requires that they competewith one another, since increasing one order decreases the other. One orderwins the battle in some particular way, while the other wins the battle in anotherway. Intense competition makes it appear like the opposing orders are alsoworking together, even cooperating with the goal of creating complex orderli-ness. Common examples of evenly spaced rows include trees in a forest, buildingsin a city, crops planted in fields, fences and posts, telephone poles, city streets,and the sentences on this page. Examples of rings or concentric shapes in natureinclude anything rounded or layered, such as the majority of fruits and vegeta-bles, as well as most plants and flowers, and also most embryonic eggs andseeds. Man-made circular shapes include rings, buttons, cones, donuts, wheels,most carnival rides, and of course hula hoops. In the larger cosmos, internallywe find the concentric layers of the Earth versus its core. Such layers exist in allplanets and stars. Externally there are the layers and densities of the Earth’satmosphere, planetary rings such as those around Saturn, and stellar asteroidbelts in solar systems.
  • 73. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 59Grouping Transforming into Symmetry Presently we are surprised about the existence of order in the universe whenwe should expect order and see it both as inevitable and natural. In fact, all thereis, is order. There are only two directions of possible change, either thingsseparate into groups to form greater definition or distinction, or things mixtogether toward an indistinct uniform whole. Either patterns move towardseparation or move toward integration. There simply isnt any other way inwhich to physically arrange things. Surely the most beautiful and eloquent method by which the two orderscombine, in a very simple and identifiable way, is in the shape of a spiral. Spiralshapes represent a third stage of increasing complexity and systemization be-yond simpler rows and rings. The spiral is the prototype example of how thetwo orders cooperate in pattern composition, leading to greater complexity. Aspiral clearly exposes the natural opposition of the two orders, with the decay ofgrouping giving way to the symmetry of the spiral. The great spiraling galaxies portray the most basic struggle in nature ofgrouping order competing with symmetry order. In the mass of the galaxy wesee grouping. And in the spiral we see symmetry. Why spiral galaxies form is notyet completely understood in astrophysics. Just as dense gases are turned intostars by gravity, all galaxies originate as more rounded elliptical galaxies. Withtwo orders in mind we can appreciate how spiral galaxies utilize rotational spinand centrifugal force to counter further gravitational collapse. The rotation of agalactic body as a whole producing the spiral is necessary to keep the body fromcollapsing toward the center of mass. In this way the rotating spiral reflects thedynamic balance that exists between the order of the past and the order of thefuture. The formation of galaxies reveals a natural tension, a sort of competitionin the universe, between further grouping and increasing symmetry. Common examples of spirals include galaxies, storms or hurricanes, the rota-tions of planets and meteorites around a star, whirlpools, seashells, a vast varietyof plants and flowers such as Cauliflower and Romanesque, cacti, pine cones,roses, and fingerprints. Man-made spirals include fans, windmills, saw blades,drills, springs, propellers and turbines, not to forget old style lollipops andlicorice. Any search on the internet for spirals will reveal an almost endless arrayof elegant spiral shapes and fractals, and the beauty we see in spirals, our fascina-tion and appreciation of them, arises because of how each distinctly displays asimple cooperation between grouping and symmetry. As to the question of why there is all this order in the world around us, theanswer is really that we should expect it to be here. What we think of as disorderexists only as a temporary stage in the transition of one kind of order becomingthe other. There really is no such thing as general disorder. All patterns necessar-ily consist of two kinds of order, even disorder.
  • 75. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 61 All patterns combine grouping and symmetry in some regular or irregularfashion. Since disorder includes in its composition constituent parts of bothgrouping and symmetry, recognizing the two orders challenges the very exis-tence of a generally disordered pattern. The Two Opposing Directions of Order Imagine playing a game of checkers half way through and then stopping. Ifwe study the positions of the pieces against the backdrop of the checkerboardthey invariably exist in one of many possible irregular patterns, in which we canfind areas that the pieces are grouped, as well as a measure that the pieces areevenly distributed. In what direction is the flow of the game evolving? Imaginehaving no knowledge of how the game came to be in its present state. What hastranspired in the past? What will happen in the future? If we only know of thefirst half of the game we end up with a distorted view of the transformation thatis occurring, but as the pieces are removed the game is moving toward thesymmetry of the checkerboard. The same is true of the universe in general, it isonly when we begin to study the transition of patterns from start to finish thatwe begin to genuinely appreciate the forward direction of the grand cosmic flowof time. Figure 5.13: From order to disorder to order. The typical way that we expect changes to occur involves order (grouping) becoming disorder as shown in the first three stages, yet in that same direction we see that a state of even spacing (symmetry order) exists beyond disorder, as shown in the fourth stage, then fi- nally perfect balance, where parts unify with the reference frame, i.e., space. What we think of as general disorder is actually just a temporary stage withinthe transition from grouping order to symmetry order. In the first three stagesabove we recognize a common portrayal of order becoming disorder. A singledense object breaks down and spreads randomly within the volume of thesquare. In the first three stages it appears the order of the single object hasdisintegrated into disorder, however, in those same steps the pattern is poten-tially moving toward balance. If we imagine the transition as moving towardbalance, the next stage will be to move toward the pattern where the objects areperfectly balanced within the space of the square, as in the fourth stage. Beyond
  • 76. 62 | EVERYTHING FOREVERthe fourth pattern the objects can only disintegrate or dilute toward the smoothextreme, where the objects integrate with the reference frame and so disappear. All patterns exist trapped between the two extremes of order, and the onlydifference between ordered patterns and what we see as disorder is a measure oftension between the two orders which varies in intensity. If the strength orintensity of both orders is high, then the pattern exhibits a high measure of bothgrouping and symmetry, which we recognize as orderliness, as shown below:Figure 5.15: In this very simple transition between grouping and symmetry thetension between the two orders is high, so there is no irregularity. Each stage beginsgrouped, then breaks up, then spreads evenly. Once the objects are spread evenly theyare forced to undergo a phase transition by dividing apart, this being necessary if thepattern evolution is to continue toward symmetry. The transition shown above displays a very high tension between the two or-ders which decreases the measure of irregularity, making each stage in thetransition from one order to the other order appear orderly. At each stage in thistransition above the influence of each order is intense, therein creating a lattice.Lattice structures are extremely basic to nature and exist at the atomic level inmost of the chemical and material compositions of our environment. If the intensity between orders is low, then the pattern is freer to exhibit ir-regularity. Below the two transitions are compared. In the orderly extreme serieswe see the influence of each order extending throughout the transition, as if theinvisible influence from the order on each side is reaching all the way across tothe other side. With lower tension the influence of each order is weak. Figure 5.16: The library of possible patterns in between the two extremes of grouping and symmetry portray high and low measures of competition. Along the upper span of patterns we see the disorderly extreme and along the lower span of patterns we see an orderly extreme. It is intermediate tensions that allow complexity and diversity to exist.
  • 77. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 63 In the formations of all patterns of possibility, the grouping order of our pastreaches into the future, and the symmetry order in our future reaches into itspast. Both orders inevitably reach across time, from beginning to end, from endto beginning, contributing to each stage in the overall transition of all possiblepatterns. We exist caught in the world in between these two great powers,controlled by them, given shape by them.The Intensity of Competition between Two Orders In an orchard the trees are spread extremely even, and we quickly appreciatethat evenness as order, while in a natural grove the trees are less even where thecompetition between both orders is at a natural level, and so less intense to thatof an orchard. Can we say that an orchard is more ordered than a forest? That isnot an easy question to answer. Technically no pattern is more generally orderedthan another, as that would require a general measure of disorder. If the order ofone is the disorder of the other, then as one is decreased, the other increases,keeping the measure of order constant. In a forest there are areas where thetrees are grouped closer together than in other areas, and some of the trees arelarger than others, reflecting the probable degree of irregularity that we expect ofnature. In an orchard, due to human intervention, the trees are more likely to bethe same age and size, and are evenly spaced. Most human-made things are lessirregular, since we can intelligently select and produce patterns where the tensionbetween the two orders is high. Orchard Rows © Daniel West Trees © Gevin Giorbran Orderly Fields: © Teun Van Den Perhaps where we see the highest measure of competition between both or-ders is in atomic and chemical structure. The distinction between grouping andsymmetry is plainly visible in the patterns of atomic orbitals which often formsquare lattice structures. Crystals and crystalline solids are formed by a highlysymmetric lattice built from square or hexagonal blocks. Crystalline materials inwhich the intensity between grouping and symmetry is extremely high includediamonds, quartz, salt, aluminum, gold, platinum, mica, graphite, nylon, polyes-ter, polypropylene, sucrose, glucose, and fluorides. Many crystallines contributeto the rigidity of plastics. Generally in nature it is typically true that a round
  • 78. 64 | EVERYTHING FOREVERstructure indicates high grouping order while square or lattice structures indicatehigh symmetry order. Figure 5.18: The Electromagnetic force creates balances and sym- metries in the chemical world, with many materials held together in square lattice configurations called cells. What is pattern cooperation? A pattern exhibits cooperation when the partsof that pattern are positioned in alignment, or are held in position, in accordancewith other parts of the pattern. The two kinds of order are each essentially twodifferent methods of cooperation. Cooperation between parts is most clearlyevident when either grouping order or symmetry order is dominating. Thecooperation of grouping order is when particles gravitate together into a star.The cooperation of symmetry order is when atomic particles are electromagneti-cally held in a perfect checkerboard type of lattice. When are the two orders competing with one another? A pattern exhibitscompetition when the cooperation of both orders is high simultaneously. Ahelpful example of two sides cooperating and then competing against oneanother might be the more systematic American style of football. A great deal ofplanning and training is necessary in order for the group of eleven players on thefield to function as a single coordinated unit. The individual players cooperatewith one another in order to break down the cooperation and coordination(dynamic positioning) of the other team, so they compete against each other bycooperating with one another. Consequently, in human terms, football is anexhibition of extremely high orderliness, at least most of the games anyway. Likewise, as the two kinds of order create patterns, one kind of cooperation,grouping order, competes with the other type of cooperation, symmetry order,with varying degrees of intensity. When the cooperation of grouping order ishigh and symmetry order cooperation is low the result is a single dense group.When cooperation is low for grouping and high for symmetry the result is asmooth and uniform substance, such as Bose-Einstein condensate. When coop-eration is high for both orders we distinctly witness both the grouping of matterand symmetry, and so the result is an intricate spiral or a lattice of dense pro-nounced particles. When cooperation for both orders is low the result is irregu-larity and apparent disorder. So in the combination of grouping and symmetry there are two general pos-sibilities, there can be orderliness, and there can be disorderliness, but therecannot be a general lack of order. All of the more orderly patterns in nature are
  • 79. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 65produced by the two orders intensely cooperating as they compete with oneanother, while disorderliness, or what we think of as general disorder, occurswhen the cooperation of each individual order is low. Since it isn’t possible for apattern to exhibit a lack of both grouping and symmetry, we shouldn’t imagine aweakly cooperating pattern to be generally disordered; rather it is merely anirregular combination of the two orders, which makes the presence of bothorders less apparent. Figure 5.19: We often see the two orders weakly cooperating in the patterns of clouds, even though we can still identify areas of grouping and uniformity, but occasionally even the clouds exhibit higher orderliness, in cloud patterns sometimes called ‘cloud streets’. Above: Ireland Coast © Jon Sullivan,; Left: © Manthy Maragoudaki; Right: Cloud Streets © Viren Shaw, We could and probably should also create here a distinction between disor-der and chaos. What we imagine to be disorder exists when the intensity be-tween grouping and symmetry is weak. However, I like to define chaos as aneven greater level of disorder where a pattern seems to exhibit an effort towardavoiding either order. Having now recognized the complementarity of the twoorders, we can appreciate the fact that extreme chaos is a difficult task. A chaoticpattern seems to avoid being designated as either grouping or symmetry bybeing extremely irregular, first in a smaller micro-frame (of reference), which issome ‘focused upon’ fragment of a pattern, and then also on an expanding andincreasingly larger macro-scale.
  • 80. 66 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Consider for example the randomness of numbers. A random number gen-erator on your computer that selects a number between 1 and 9 will immediatelycreate, when turned on, an irregular pattern such as 78192850. The selection ofeach number is highly random and unpredictable, however, a block of 1000 ofsuch numbers will add up and sum very close to a value of 5000, which reflectsthe average value of numbers between 1 and 9, i.e., 5 multiplied by 1000. Theimmediate production of numbers is random but the macro-scale value of largergroups of random numbers is increasingly more predictable. A thousand groupsof 1000 numbers will sum toward an average of 5,000,000, and so on and so on.Such large groups will never sum toward an average of 1,000,000 (where everynumber generated is by pure chance a 1). In fact, for the number generator to berandom on a larger-scale it would have to be specially programmed to be lessrandom on a finer scale. The generator would need to be more apt to producethe same number as the first number selected, so that after the first randomchoice of each block of 1000 it then creates a large group of the single numberselected, i.e., grouping order. Then in the next block it can produce a randomlyselected new group, which pushes the unpredictability one level up. Extremeirregularity or chaos is actually extremely difficult to create. What is immediatelyrandom is not random on a larger scale and only what is immediately predictablecan be extremely irregular on the larger scale. Chaos on a macro-scale is highly improbable because there is always symme-try on the largest macro-scale, such as the isotropic distribution of galaxiesthroughout the cosmos, and ultimately Omega, which is why any large-scalesystem or summation tends to reach equilibrium and balance out, therein result-ing in symmetry order. And so with the two orders exposed we can begin to seethe reason why the universe we experience is orderly and not chaotic. In moreaccurately considering what is ultimately possible we see that chaos is actuallyvery improbable and requires an increasing measure of work to create.Two Directions in the Possible Realm We typically imagine there is a terrible unpredictable chaos at all levels outthere somewhere, opposite to the diversity we know that exists in the balancebetween freedom and the forces of nature. Instead there is control in bothdirections. There are two different types of cooperation in the two fundamentaldirections of possibility that exist for us. There is the control of grouping orderin our past. And there is the control of symmetry and balance in our future. Asour own universe continues to evolve toward zero a more strict and simpleorderliness will eventually remove the freedom and diversity that exists here intime. Stars and galaxies eventually disintegrate as the universe cools and theinfluence of zero increases. Finally the waveforms of particles unify into a singlematerial, and near the end of time the condensate predicted by Einstein andBose will take over and fill the entire universe. Fortunately, in confronting this
  • 81. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 67boring sameness and control, we at least should be completely consoled byknowing of the enfolded order that exists behind the surface of increasingsymmetry and sameness. It is wise to never forget the supporting background oftimelessness. For those concerned about our immediate future, there is no reason to be-lieve complex orderliness is presently on the decrease, or that sameness is set totake over soon. Both orders are still very active and present in our cosmos. Weourselves, our bodies, our perceptive minds, are examples of the complexity andsuper cooperation that results from the two orders competing against oneanother. There are likely levels of super-complexity destined in our future suchas what is often portrayed in science fiction, not merely in our own region of theuniverse, but a super complex future may be perfectly in synch with the naturalevolution of patterns. Some kind of complex future is inevitable, whether wehumans are here to enjoy it or not. Nanotechnology and computers probablyoffer the greatest potential for increasing complexity in the near future on Earth,that is, if we manage to lessen our individual impact and decrease the growingpopulations that are so furiously using up the Earth’s natural resources. In anycase, the most important lesson to be learned from two orders is that the generalevolution of the universe is not simply moving from order to disorder, as is nowbelieved to be the case. In the same way the north and south poles allow us to map the unboundedsurface of the Earth, there are two great poles in the whole of reality that boundthe whole of all possibilities. In a view of reality from the top-down there are thetwo great boundaries of Alpha and Omega, the extremes of grouping andsymmetry. If there were no cosmic absolutes at all then finite things might stillfind definition in relation to other finite things, but we would have no way ofmaking sense of the whole of reality. Fortunately we can make sense of the bigpicture. In that the two great absolutes exist there is also a spectrum of patternsbetween them, and fortunately time worlds that travel between them. That is ofcourse where we find ourselves, in a sampling of the diversity of nature, inbetween the two ordered extremes. Presently we don’t collectively see the big picture, it hasn’t quite come intofocus yet. Today we see only a distorted and incomplete fragment of the greaterwhole, because we view the world mainly from only one side of nature, one sideof knowing and understanding, somewhat similar to how we view the Earthrelative to the North Pole. We imagine the North Pole as the top or up side ofthe Earth and then we imagine everything else relative to that single pole. Wedon’t as readily make note of the other pole, the South Pole, as if we don’t likethe fact that the surface area of the Earth ends down there. As a sort of a joke or a twist to make people think, there is a man in the landdown-under the equator known as the “Wizard of New Zealand” who sellsmaps of the Earth which are upside down so that the southern hemisphere is
  • 82. 68 | EVERYTHING FOREVERconsidered the top. Of course there isn’t really a top side to the Earth, so thereis nothing inaccurate about such a map. There is just our tendency to makereference of ourselves or the world against one chosen place. And so in terms ofthe general evolution of the universe we tend to refer to the beginning of timeand Alpha. Figure 5.20; An alien Planet Landscape with New Zealand on top of the world. Photo: NASA Just as there is a north and South Pole to the Earth, there is both a top and abottom to our existence. The beginning of time is our north pole. We identifywith the past. We assume the past created us and hardly imagine the possibilitythat the future might influence us, or create us, because in our minds the futurehasn’t happened yet, or that is what we think! The possibilities are endless, or sowe think! What we haven’t yet realized at this point in the history of discoveringthe Universe is that there is a distinct south pole of reality. There is a south polein the realm of all possibilities, and there is a south pole for the duration of timewe measure with clocks. There is a south pole for the expansion of the universe.There is even a south pole for disorder, or what we think of as disorder. In terms of how the universe will transform in the deep time of cosmic evo-lution we hardly notice what takes place at the extreme south pole of time. Wehardly consider the end result of moving continually toward balance and equilib-rium. So we have failed to notice there is a single extreme state toward the endof time, in comparison to the single extreme of the big bang at the beginning oftime. We more often take for granted the fact that balance finally blends every-thing together into an invisible whole, blinded perhaps because of all the inter-esting diversity that we experience in the present. Never the less, all suchdiversity is within the whole. The things of the world are real, but they are reallyall fragments of something much greater.
  • 83. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 69Whilst the world is thus dual, so is every one of its parts. The entire system of things getsrepresented in every particle. There is somewhat that resembles the ebb and flow of the sea,day and night, man and woman, in a single needle of the pine, in a kernel of corn, in eachindividual of every animal tribe. The reaction so grand in the elements is repeated withinthese small boundaries…Ralph Waldo EmersonAll are but parts of one stupendous whole.Alexander PopeYou cannot conceive of the many without theone.Plato Sunflowers: © Charles BeckPart TwoThe Governing Dynamics of Symmetry To see the world of timelessness and appreciate the infinite whole it is neces-sary to make a significant mental shift away from how we ordinarily see theeveryday world. In the classic view of reality we quite reasonably conclude that adefinite world exists, many things exist, so what we think of as an absolute orultimate “nothingness” does not instead exist. It follows logically that a true andabsolute “nothingness” cannot exist simultaneously in some parallel dimensionin complete contradiction to the existence of our something world. We do however in our classic view require a lesser form of “nothingness” todivide apart material objects or things. Perhaps the universe began as one thing.But now the world is made up of many things. We see the world as many sepa-rate things and we have grown comfortable in thinking it’s okay for a nothingnessto divide things apart, even though its limited presence here in a somethingworld is extraordinarily paradoxical. As we see the world today, we need noth-ingness to be defined separate from everything else, to break away from themold. Our diverse world is necessarily a holy place, meaning it must have lots ofgaping holes in it for there to be individual things. If there isn’t a “nothingness”to make things separate from one another, then the whole world would be justone seamless thing. In appreciating only objects as reality we see the world abstractly, and quiteinaccurately as well. We see things, we count things, and we multiply and dividethings, so when we imagine all the things are taken away we are suddenly lost.Our method of modeling reality fails without things. We commonly say, “thereis nothing in here”, or “nothing over there”, but the nothingness we are alwayspointing to and moving around within is really more than we are, not less. Wecan only pretend space is a nothing. In truth, all that we know as reality is a
  • 84. 70 | EVERYTHING FOREVERfragment embedded within a vast and measureless whole. We ourselves alwaysand forever exist inside that whole, sort of like pieces of a whole pie. The worldis really just one thing. We can cut a pie into many different pieces, and consider each piece of thepie to be a separate thing. We can even slice the pie into an infinite number ofunique pieces, but no matter how we cut up the whole pie it is still an undividedoneness. We can divide up a continent into countries but the continent remainsone land. We don’t see this great whole oneness mainly because we never con-cern ourselves with the whole. We identify with things. We see all these frag-ments, our selves, the sun and sky, a planet, a solar system, a galaxy, a field ofgalaxies. If we did see everything at the same time, we would say, “oh, that is just‘nothing’ (no-things)”. But ultimately that single whole is what we are, a nothingthat is everything, and I say this as factual science. We all know there is a timeless realm for imagination, for mathematics, forthe meaning of words and ideas. We never imagine such things begin or end,nor do we imagine they exist in a place and not some other place. The meaningsof ideas are everywhere and always whether someone thinks with them or not.Likewise, physical things are everywhere and always. All the form, all the defini-tion of the solid physical world, is created from all the different ways the wholecan be divided apart. We are not more than nothing, we are less than everything.This space we swim through does not really separate us from anything else. Infact it connects us. It is the oneness of everything else our world is not. Ultimately the great whole that any recognition of the two kinds of order ex-poses is everywhere. The whole exists in every part. It doesn’t have a particularlocation. It is not out there somewhere or elsewhere. The great illusion is notour perception of time, it is our inability to perceive all of time all about us, or asthe American physicist John Wheeler put it, “time is what keeps everything fromhappening all at once”. A unified whole has long been expected and two ordersfinally lays a solid foundation for a grand mental picture of the world as onething. Instead of seeing existence as mostly empty and fragile, it is possible tosee definitive form as a tiny fragment of what exists all around us, just beyondthe surface of form in the enfolded timeless background. What subject could be more interesting than timelessness? The timelessrealm is essentially Gods realm, meaning that timelessness is not just configura-tions and mathematical laws but rather the whole space of ideas and a greatintegration of everything living that exists in time. In the permanent stasis oftimelessness we see all worlds and all lives simultaneously. We can appreciateeven scientifically that the universe itself is alive, at very least through each oneof us. Even timelessness must therefore be considered alive which illuminatesthe definition of life in an unexpected way.
  • 86. 72 | EVERYTHING FOREVERMankind likes to think in terms of extreme opposites. It is given to formulatingits beliefs in terms of Either-Ors, between which it recognizes no intermediatepossibilities. When forced to recognize that the extremes cannot be acted upon, itis still inclined to hold that they are all right in theory but that when it comes topractical matters circumstances compel us to compromise.John Dewey ~~~Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it.Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, new insights begin.Herman Hesse ~~~The One has never known measure and stands outside of number, and so is underno limit either in regard to anything external or internal; for any such determina-tion would bring something of the dual into it.Plotinus ~~~In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides themeaning of life and art. It is the color of love.Marc Chagall ~~~If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makesone feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it.Vincent Van Gogh
  • 87. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 73The Landscape becomes reflective, human and thinks itself though me. I make it anobject, let it project itself and endure within my painting....I become the subjectiveconsciousness of the landscape, and my painting becomes its objective consciousness.CezanneChapter SixNatural OrderTwo Orders in Art, Music, Architecture, and Poetry Life is acutely tuned to the discovery of order. It is our nature to developstructures and organize, categorize and store. It is also our nature to strive forbeauty. We gravitate toward the arts, judging the complexities of music andpainting, sometimes not knowing anything more than how it makes us feel. Theartist tunes into the open world of possibilities searching for ways of combiningpatterns and colors that triggers interest in the mind of the observer. We canrecognize now that it is some complex combination of grouping and symmetrywhich we are attracted to in art, architecture, and the artistry of nature. In the wide range of human-made visual art there are compositions moretoward the nature of grouping order that emphasize the order of definition andform, by being realistic, distinct, and bold, from artists such as Michelangelo,Picasso, or Salvador Dali. And there are compositions in which distinctivenessand boldness are traded for showing the connectedness and commonalitybetween things, where objects flow together, where a unity is felt, as found inpaintings from Vincent Van Gogh or Winslow Homer. Figure 6.1: Comparing the bold pronounced work of Rembrandt with the flowing low-contrast unity of Van Gogh. Works toward the nature of symmetry order are often low contrast withblended colors and wide brush strokes. Generally speaking, the overall expres-sion of a painting can either be more uniform and flowing or it can be morevariegated and distinct. Paint colors can blend smoothly or they can stay pureand sharp in contrast. Each of the different mediums in art, such as watercoloror inks, express either the unity of the world or the distinction of things. Water-color paintings overlap and flow together while ink pen drawings are contrastive
  • 88. 74 | EVERYTHING FOREVERwith sharp lines and distinct shapes. This range of possibilities we are comparingis the two directions of order governing both materials and composition. There are artists who in exploring composition have learned to recognize andutilize two orders at an intuitional level years ahead of science. Some art workseems to capture the rules of the unseen underlying orders, especially visible inthe woodcut prints of Charles Beck. In Beck’s art we see a rigid combination ofgrouping and symmetry. Generally in Beck’s work, distinct subjects are spreadalmost perfectly even in the painting, like rhythm in music, sometimes with theonly asymmetric element being a trace of human activity taking place among thecombining of grouping and symmetry. In his art Beck often seems to convey anintuited awareness of our place in nature between the two orders. © Charles Beck Maplelag © Charles Beck Poplars Figure 6.2: Woodcut Prints of Charles Beck visually reveal the two orders cooperating. In Beck’s prints, objects or things are portrayed evenly and symmetrically andalthough the evenness of the trees and the buildings might be increased to aneven greater extreme, they would then appear so orderly that they would notconvey the message. They would not relate in a mysterious way to similar pat-terns we see in nature. In nature we commonly see things combined togetherevenly although the evenness is less rigid and distinct than what artists oftenportray. Artists often add-in or choose a point of view that frames greatersymmetry, since we all enjoy symmetry. Beck’s landscape compositions abovecompared to those below communicate that we are constantly witnessing bal-ance and symmetry in nature, it is just a less rigorous and exacting symmetry. Figure 6.3: Similar scenes in nature show a less tense combination of two or- ders although the two orders are cooperating in every real life setting.
  • 89. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 75Two Orders in Music and Poetry Near the turn of the century the art philosopher George Lansing Raymondstruggled to understand the common underlying structure of order as it exists inart, music, and poetry as equally as it exists in nature. In The Genesis of Art FormRaymond writes: When the child first observes the world, every-thing is a maze; but, anon, out of this maze, objects emerge which he contrasts with other objects and distinguishes from them. After a little, he sees that two or three of these objects, thus distin- guished, are alike; and pursuing a process of comparison he is able, by himself or with the help of others, to unite and to classify them, and to give to each class a name. . . . All his knowledge, and not only this, but his understanding and applica- tion of the laws of botany, mineralogy, psychology, or theology will depend on the degree in which he learns to separate from others, and thus to unite and classify and name certain plants, rocks, mental activities, or religious dogmas. Why should not the same principle apply in the arts? It undoubtedly does… (Classification) enables one to conceive of many different things—birds or beasts, larks or geese, dogs or sheep, as the case may be—as one. Classification is, there- fore, an effort in the direction of unity. It is hardly necessary to add that the same is true of art-composition. Its object is to unite many different features in a single form. Unity being the aim of classification, it is evident that the most natural way of attaining this aim is that of putting, so far as possible, like with like… Grouping and symmetry provides a simple way of understanding the com-mon order of all patterns in nature including art and music. In separating group-ing and balance into two components the complexities of art and the harmoniesof music are perhaps more fundamentally comprehensible than with any othermethod of description. The first level of grouping order in music is just a singlenote breaking silence, like a particle in space, or a star in the sky. Then in therhythm of music we find the evenness and balance of symmetry order. Often ina song several different notes are played simultaneously with one instrument tocreate a chord, which is somewhat like cooking various vegetables into a soup. Acareful selection of certain like notes create harmonious chords, just as manydifferent instruments create songs. In the same way that we can define a frame of reference in space, we can de-fine a frame of reference in time, which in music is called a measure. A musicalexample we can pick apart which most everyone is familiar with would be thefirst notes of Beethovens fifth symphony. Three sudden notes are followed by adrawn out fourth note. A series of pronounced individual notes played closetogether as opposed to further apart in time is of course intense grouping order,
  • 90. 76 | EVERYTHING FOREVERalthough the even rhythm is symmetry order. A steady rhythm is perhaps themost important ingredient of music. Rhythm is what distinguishes music apartfrom all other sound. But we also find symmetry in a lasting note duration,which is like a smooth dense space in which matter is spread evenly. The complex ordering of many musical instruments can be interesting, pleas-ant, saddening, spirited and exciting, able to compliment and enhance everyhuman emotion, perhaps suggesting a connection. Musical instruments createeither more pronounced blunt sounds akin to grouping order, as with percussioninstruments such as drums. Other instruments play sustained notes and chordsmore evenly across a measure of time, such as a violin or a flute, representingsymmetry order. Music genres like rock and roll or rap that are pronounced witha strong beat are more of the nature of grouping order, while the smooth anddrawn out rhythms sometimes produced by a symphony are more toward thenature of symmetry order. Regardless, a beautiful musical composition resonateswith both the distinction of notes and instruments, and the limited harmonizingof those notes and instruments. Raymond, who was a professor of aesthetics at Princeton, also consideredhow two very basic but very different elements contribute to the beauty of artand music. Raymond initially focuses on the role of “likeness”. Applying [likeness] to art-composition, and looking, first, at music, we find that the chief characteristic of its form is a series of phrases of like lengths, divided into like numbers of measures, all sounded in like time, through the use of notes that move upward or downward in the scale at like intervals, with like recurrences of melody and harmony. So with poetry. The chief characteristics of its form are lines of like lengths, divided into like numbers of feet, each uttered in like time, to which are sometimes added alliteration, resonance, and rhyme, produced by the recurrence of like sounds in either consonants, vowels, or both. In painting, sculp- ture, and architecture, no matter of what "style, " the same is true. The most su- perficial inspection of any product of these arts, if it be of established reputation, will convince one that it is composed in the main by putting together forms that are alike in such things as color, shape, size, posture, and proportion… The likenesses mentioned of lyrics and poetry are most apparent in very sim-ple poems such as, “Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow. Andeverywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.” But specifically what doesRaymond mean by likeness. How many different ways can things be alike? Arethere perhaps opposing directions that things can be alike? For example, each
  • 91. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 77letter in the alphabet is different, yet some letters form a group called vowels,which are alike in ways but different than the group of consonants. And yet allare alike in simply being letters, so letters are simultaneously different and alike.Where letters are expressions of distinct form and thus grouping order they aredifferent, and where letters are a general type of forms they are alike, and as awhole create a uniformity. It can be a surprise to realize that all the letters in thisbook, or every book that has ever been written in any language, exist withinany tiny black square. It is said that someone asked Michelangelo how he had created such a per-fect image of David out of stone, to which he replied that David was there inthe stone all along, and just needed a little help in getting out. In being so fo-cused upon likenesses that establish the differences we notice between things,which make classification possible, we easily forget that everything is of a singleexistence and thus is ultimately just one thing. Ultimately all difference is anillusion. All things are ultimately alike. Is the beauty of music and poetry and art determined by a mix of these twoopposite directions of likeness? Having considered likeness, Raymond thenfocuses on variety and contrast: …the mind is confronted by that which classification is intended to overcome, by that which is the opposite of unity—namely, variety. If there were none of this in nature, all things would appear to be alike, and classification would be unneces- sary. As a fact, however, no two things are alike in all regards; and the mind must content itself with putting together those that are alike in some regards. This is the same as to say that classification involves, occasionally, putting the like with the unlike and necessitates contrast as well as comparison. A similar fact is observable in products of art. One of the most charming effects in music and poetry is that it is produced when more or less unlikeness is blended with the likeness in rhythm, tone, and movement which, a moment ago, was said to constitute the chief ele- ment of artistic form. In painting and sculpture one of the most invariable charac- teristics of that which is inartistic is a lack of sufficient diversity, colors too similar, outlines too uniform. In how likeness in one way makes things different and classifiable, and in an-other way makes all things the same, we can see distinctly why there are twodifferent and incompatible kinds of order in nature. In one direction of beingalike things are different and unlike other things. Birds of a feather flock to-gether. This classification creates contrast and unlikeness. Unlikeness is evenrequired of diversity. In another direction of being alike things are more generalor similar to other things. All birds are mammals. All mammals are animals. Allanimals are life forms. All forms are matter. All matter is part of one greatexistence. In combining like with like we create the distinctions and definitiveform of grouping order, yet in combining that same unlikeness we somehowfurther the unity of symmetry order. We bring all things together into a whole.
  • 92. 78 | EVERYTHING FOREVER We are all attracted to symmetries and balance in music and art, yet unlike-ness and imbalances are a critical ingredient of the aesthetics of all art and music.Too much symmetry, too much harmony, too much balance, and we end upwith silence. No matter how intense, a synchronized positive wave and a nega-tive wave turn each other into silence. And to us, silence, like the white canvas,is boring. Figure 6.6: When two sounds are perfectly out of phase they combine into si- lence. The more the notes and chords are drawn out, the more the music is indis-tinct and unified over its measure of time, and here again the extreme movestoward a single sound that cannot be heard. Sound is fundamentally an oscilla-tion. Without oscillation, sound is silence. Sound, like both energy and matter, isan oscillation of waves, and when we stretch that wave flat it becomes silence.Flat sound, flat energy, flat matter, is like the color white, our senses perceive itas a nothing even though all possible sounds combined together have the sameconsequence. All music is created from limited measures of imbalance and balance. In mu-sic, in art, in poetry, we want to experience imbalances and balances eloquentlywoven together. We want the imbalances of grouped likenesses combined withthe sameness and balance of symmetry. We want to see and hear the complexi-ties possible in the myriad of ways of combining grouping and symmetry. Weare attuned to those complex combinations possible of both orders. It isn’tsimply order out of chaos that gives art and music its pleasurable qualities, it isthe cooperation of each order in strict competition with one another. Two Orders Competing in Architecture Is there a difference between the beauty we see in nature and the beauty wesee in man-made creations. To focus more clearly on what we perceive as beautywe can turn to the less temporary art of architecture. The difference betweencommon patterns in nature apart from those patterns that we commonly see inarchitecture that are constructed intelligently by humans is understandable as avariable of the tension between the two orders. A carefully planned intelligentdesign can increase this tension of competition, so that the competing twoorders appear to be cooperating.
  • 93. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 79 Figure 6.7: In the transition from grouping to symmetry order nature does group things and yet spread them evenly but not as rigidly symmetrical as is possible if the pattern is intelligently designed (checkered pattern). Opposite to cooperation there is randomness. Normally the definition ofrandomness means to have no specific pattern or objective, and randomnesscreates disorder, chaos, and disorganization, but actually randomness is a meas-ure of freedom that exists only between the two kinds of order. The ordinarypatterns we experience in nature are always created only by two orders, yet mostpatterns in nature are less intensely symmetrical or less intensely grouped thanman-made patterns, so there is a measure of randomness or freedom in thepattern, which is still the two orders working together, but not as intensely orsynchronically as is possible. In comparison, man-made creations can fuse thetwo orders together in a way that eliminates randomness. Photo credits: Left and right © Piotr Pieranski, Middle: © Quentin Rowe, Below: Gravitational lensing in Abell ClusterFigure 6.8: Beach rocks, waves, and field plants, exemplify ordered patterns lessrigidly trapped between intense grouping and symmetry. Below, a small sampling ofdistant galaxies (HST Abell Cluster), and the microwave background radiation meas-ured by the WMAP Satellite revealing regional lumpiness in the early universe beforegalaxies had formed (images from NASA).
  • 94. 80 | EVERYTHING FOREVER There is an increased symmetry of patterns at low temperatures, first seen in things such as window frost or a snow flake, but in warmer climates wecommonly observe a measure of freedom or irregularity, which is essentially ameasurable weakness in the influence of the two orders, in contrast to a man-made fractal which displays an extremely intense combination of two orders. Snowflake © Ken LibbrechtFigure 6.9: The uniformity of water vapor in clouds and in the air and symmetry in the chemicalstructure of water translates into the complex symmetry of a snowflake. Usually we draw a line between patterns in nature and patterns that are man-made, as if man isn’t natural, but the only real difference is the combined inten-sity of each order. Intense competition creates a level of cooperation in what canbe called an order game, or some way in which the two orders are intelligentlymade to work together. Human beings play all sorts of order games, where thetwo orders compete against one another, most plainly in sports, card and boardgames (especially checkers), but also in social situations, business, politics, andconflicts such as war. If we analyze the images below as an exercise of finding cooperation betweentwo orders, in the first photo, clouds of fog float through a recognizably evendistribution of trees in a forest. A cloud of fog is a group of particles, althoughthere is an obvious symmetry in the distribution. Also this photo displays an “S”curve to the fog, well known to be an attractive pattern in art and photographybecause it has symmetry. To the right, grooves carve up the earth evenly andseedling plants sprout along each row evenly, forming the group of each row,then left to right we see the symmetry of the collective rows. Mountains in thissatellite image of the Himalayas each represents grouping order, particularlyEverest, but from afar we see the collective uniformity of the mountains. © Mike Levin © Frank Poulsen Photo: NASA - Himalayan Mountains Figure 6.10: Various Patterns in which grouping and symmetry can be easily identified.
  • 95. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 81 It doesn’t take long before a person is able to recognize grouping and sym-metry in all patterns, both natural and man-made. We most commonly find anintense competition between grouping and symmetry in man-made designs ofgovernmental and religious architecture. The pronounced grouping of materialscontrasting the even distributions of windows and columns are easily recognizedin these buildings, as well as the general bilateral symmetries. All these symme-tries are components of a balance showing little sign of the innate conflict withthe grouping order nature of the buildings themselves. Yet take away the sym-metries and we would have a simple pile of matter. Obviously it is pronouncedmasses ornamented with symmetries that we find to be beautiful in architecture,likewise true of sculpture, music, art and nature. Figure 6.11: These great landmarks show the human preference for both orders combined together intensely competing and yet cooperating.
  • 96. 82 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Of course we forget sometimes that literally everything that exists is of thenatural world. All that human beings create is part of the universe and so nature.The only imaginable distinction between nature and the human world is that wehumans can intelligently make the two orders cooperate in ways that naturecannot accomplish without our help. This does not mean however that thereisn’t an equal measure of cooperation occurring generally in nature. Photo Credits: Peacock © Becky Rech, Larvae © Michal Fafrowicz, Fish © Ga- reth Peters, Leaf © Joanie Cahill, Passion Flower © Ingela Nordlund, Aloe © Chris Carter We might even ask, when we consider all patterns, is there a greater measureof cooperation in human-made patterns over natural patterns? Note that mosthuman-made patterns are not as rigidly perfect as the architectural examplesshown, while many plants and animals rival our creations with exquisite orderli-ness. There are likely consistent measures of chaos and cooperation at all levelseverywhere in the universe, even at the human level, almost as if we accomplishexactly what nature has designed into us.Summary The distinction between the two kinds of order, between dividing thingsapart and mixing things together, initially seems too simple to be of any greatimportance. Certainly, the important simple principles have all been discoveredlong ago. It is after all something a child could understand. How can somethingso simple dramatically change how a person sees the complex world? Indeed thedistinction between the two orders is simple, but our existing definition of orderis even simpler than what is being explained. Consequently the concepts oforder and disorder only vaguely describe the patterns we experience, whichactually makes the universe seem more complex and perplexing than it is.
  • 97. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 83 After learning to recognize two orders virtually everywhere we look, we cantry to return to the basic concepts of order and disorder, except an increase insymmetry order now means that grouping order is lost, and an increase ingrouping order requires that symmetry order is decreased. This completelycontradicts the commonly held belief shared by most that order decays intodisorder and it contradicts the belief in science that there is high order in thedirection of our past which is decaying in the direction of our future. The exclu-sivity of two orders necessarily replaces the commonplace concepts of order anddisorder, showing that neither concept can be generally applied to nature. Inessence, we have to start over.
  • 98. 84 | EVERYTHING FOREVER A World of Water © Michel MeynsbrughenThere are waves on the vacuum sea corresponding to every conceivable quantum,even those we have not yet discovered. All of physics - everything we hope toknow - is waiting in the vacuum to be discovered. Everything that ever existed orcan exist is already potentially there in the nothingness of space.Heinz Pagels ~~~Space is a collection of all placesLiebniz ~~~Everything happens at the same time with nothing in between.Paul Hebig ~~~In a certain sense, everything is everywhere at all times. For every locationinvolves an aspect of itself in every other location. Thus every spatio-temporalstandpoint mirrors the world.Ralph Waldo Emerson Compensation ~~~God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, fullness and hunger.Heraclitus ~~~Ideas come from space. This may seem impossible and hard to believe but it’strue.Thomas Edison
  • 99. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 85The existing scientific concepts cover always only a very limited part of reality,and the other part that has not yet been understood is infinite. Whenever weproceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but wemay have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word ‘understanding’.Werner HeisenbergChapter SevenEnfolded SymmetryThe People of Symmetry Order The two directions of order are probably the most important features of na-ture that we will ever understand. There are endless applications of two orders inevery field, in physics, biology, geology, politics, and psychology, just naming themore obvious fields. The theory of two orders generally describes all change, allpatterns, all definitive form, so what if anything could be excluded? As we learnto perceive the cosmos as one type of order transforming into another, doors ofcomprehension will open beyond our wildest dreams. A surprising number of others in the past have managed similar comprehen-sions of the two orders, including Henri Bergson and William Yeats in the early1900’s, but the most recent and most notable is the American physicist DavidBohm who introduced concepts of Implicate Order and Explicate Order. Astudent and friend of Albert Einstein, many of the general ideas about orderbeing explained were introduced by Bohm to modern science in the 1960’s. Indescribing Implicate Order Bohm writes: This order is not to be understood solely in terms of a regular arrangement of ob- jects (e.g., in rows) or as a regular arrangement of events (e.g. in a series). Rather, a total order is contained in some implicit sense, in each region of space and time. Now the word implicit is based on the verb to implicate. This means to fold inward (as multiplication means folding many times). So we may be led to ex- plore the notion that in some sense each region contains a total structure en- folded within it. In order to understand how the whole can exist in every part, Bohm becameinterested in the mechanics of holographic photography. Using lasers, a holo-graphic image is recorded evenly across the photographic film. Consequently anyregion of the film contains information about the whole image, so any smallregion of the film can recreate the image, although in poorer resolution than theentire film produces. Bohm believed all matter is unfolded out of what he eventually described as aholomovement, which meant that matter could also enfold and so return intothe holomovement. Bohm considered quantum mechanics to be a process ofunfolding and enfolding. He imagined the universe as an infinite sea of space
  • 100. 86 | EVERYTHING FOREVERand energy out of which matter could be unfolded, which he called explicating,and enfolded which he called implicating, which, in Bohm’s words, “together area flowing, undivided wholeness. Every part of the universe is related to everyother part but in different degrees.” In an interview published in Omni magazineconducted by the physicist F. David Peat and John Briggs, Bohm explained hisconcept of enfoldment: “Everybody has seen an image of enfoldment: You fold up a sheet of paper, turn it into a small packet, make cuts in it, and then unfold it into a pattern. The parts that were close in the cuts unfold to be far away. This is like what happens in a hologram. Enfoldment is really very common in our experience. All the light in this room comes in so that the entire room is in effect folded into each part. If your eye looks, the light will be then unfolded by your eye and brain. As you look through a telescope or a camera, the whole universe of space and time is enfolded into each part, and that is unfolded to the eye. With an old-fashioned television set thats not adjusted properly, the image enfolds into the screen and then can be unfolded by adjustment.” The process of unfolding and enfolding suggests a whole exists primarily as abase, and although Bohm described the whole as being dynamic and in constantmotion in most of his writings, in his later years he began to describe time asoccurring within timelessness. In hindsight it appears that Bohm didn’t focusenough on the timeless nature of patterns. He didn’t recognize consciouslyenough that ordinary patterns reveal the implicate order, although in Bohm’sanalogies you find the same type of examples that I use to explain the transitionfrom grouping to symmetry order. One of Bohm’s favorite analogies spawnedfrom a scientific program he’d seen on a television show. The program featureda small scientific wonder, where an insoluble drop of dark ink in one processdisappears uniformly into a glycerin, then in the opposite process the dropreappears. About the time I was looking into these questions, a BBC science program showed a device that illustrates these things very well. It consists of two concentric glass cylinders. Between them is a viscous fluid, such as glycerin. If a drop of in- soluble ink is placed in the glycerin and the outer cylinder is turned slowly, the drop of dye will be drawn out into a thread. Eventually the thread gets so diffused it cannot be seen. At that moment there seems to be no order present at all. Yet if you slowly turn the cylinder backward, the glycerin draws back into its original form, and suddenly the ink drop is visible again. The ink had been enfolded into the glycerin, and it was unfolded again by the reverse turning. Of course we can accomplish this same transformation less dramatically withany container filled with water and oil, and simply shake the container until thetwo liquids mix together evenly. Then at rest electrostatic cohesion and gravitywill rather quickly re-separate the liquids into two pure groups. What theseanalogies of mixing and separation attempt to convey is that material form can
  • 101. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 87integrate and disappear into a whole. This suggests an equivalency betweenmatter and that invisible background, a background which we know simply to bespace. All the empty space in the universe, which we naturally assume to be lessthan the physical matter we are able to interact with, is actually more full ofcontent than the surface of form we see due to light waves. What we imagine tobe empty space contains the whole of everything. It is a considerably differentway of looking at the world, but the message is that matter is constantly unfold-ing out of and refolding into a larger balanced whole. Bohm writes: Classical physics says that reality is actually little particles that separate the world into its independent elements. Now Im proposing the reverse, that the fundamen- tal reality is the enfoldment and unfoldment, and these particles are abstractions from that. We could picture the electron not as a particle that exists continuously but as something coming in and going out and then coming in again. If these vari- ous condensations are close together, they approximate a track. The electron itself can never be separated from the whole of space, which is its ground. In the book, The Holographic Universe the writer Michael Talbot integratedBohm’s vision of two kinds of order with the work of Karl Pribram, a famedneurophysiologist who also became interested in holographic photography as ameans of explaining the mysteries of human memory. Talbot also suggests thewhole universe is a hologram. He writes: Just as every portion of the hologram contains the image of the whole, every por- tion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means that if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of your left hand. We could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, every dust mote… Unfortunately, the mainstream of other scientists didn’t catch on to Bohm’svision of two kinds of order, and he struggled with despair and depression at notbeing able to convince the scientific community of the scientific value of anenfolded order, a struggle I inherited. Without knowing I was dramaticallyinfluenced, I encountered Bohm’s concept of implicate order many years beforeI discovered and learned to present my own system of seeing the same thing, thesame principles, the same process in nature. Then rediscovering and studyingBohm’s work in greater detail, I now realize my practical grouping order andsymmetry order concepts are simply an extension of Bohm’s concepts. I nowbelieve the only reason Bohm’s visionary accomplishments were kept fromhaving greater impact is that he was led more to challenge how quantum me-chanics was being interpreted in his day rather than led to explore how the termsorder and disorder are defined, as well as the second law’s usage of the termsorder and disorder. Also I think he tried to convince the wrong audience. Judg-ing from my own experiences I am sure it would have taken years for even a
  • 102. 88 | EVERYTHING FOREVERfully convincing challenge to sink in to the sometimes dull collective mind ofscience, which grounded in the present dry paradigm tends to shy away fromprofound concepts altogether. One of the most important lessons I convey perhaps uniquely from Bohm, isthat symmetry order is an entirely separate component of the patterns we find innature, so that we can see the unfolding and enfolding process as a governingsystem, visible not only within the general evolution of time, but also presentwithin each individual, and within humanity as a whole. I expect anyone whoreads this book will eventually be able to observe any pattern in their world andrecognize the two components of order not only contributing to the appearanceof order, but also the appearance of what we think of as disorder.The Absence of One Order Creates the Other Both the Irish poet William Yeats, who received the Nobel Prize for litera-ture in 1923, and the French philosopher Henri Bergson who received a Nobelin literature in 1927, wrote of two fundamental orders at work in the evolution-ary process of the universe. Although the nature of the orders was not describedas clearly as Bohm managed with his implicate and explicate concepts, both menrecognized the exclusive quality of the two orders more clearly than Bohm. Inhis book entitled Creative Evolution Bergson writes: The two orders are not organized into a linear hierarchy or a graduated spectrum in which one is on the top, the other beneath it, and absolute disorder constitut- ing a third alternative, at the very bottom of the hierarchy - one nature in graded powers, to use Plotinus words. Instead, the absence of one of the two orders, consists in the presence of the other. Obviously Bergson somehow recognized how any decrease inthe measure of one type of order, increases the order of the othertype. This can be recognized if we consider a breakdown in thepurity of each order. Suppose we switch two oppositely coloredsquares on a checkerboard. The inconsistency in the symmetricalarrangement stands out like a beacon. The rhythmic order of symmetrical pat-tern has been broken. The symmetry order is clearly diminished. And yet thefusing of three colored squares into one larger block is an increase in a type oforder. Grouping order has increased. The greater measure of symmetry orderisn’t suddenly destroyed, we are only one step away from an unbroken perfectlattice, it is merely diminished. Alternatively, at the other end of order, if we group togetherthe game pieces by colors on each side of the board, and mistak-enly displace one colored piece with another, the diminishedpurity of the grouping order stands out vividly here also. Thepurity of each of the two groups is contaminated, yet note here
  • 103. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 89how this is a first move toward increased symmetry order. There isn’t actually anincrease in any general form of disorder. Each of these first steps away from anunbroken high order is both an increase of an order and a decrease of an order.Hence the order of one type is the disorder of the other. Anywhere that a substance gravitates together, grouping order has increasedwhile symmetry order has decreased. Anyplace where things spread more evenlythroughout any frame of reference, symmetry order has increased while group-ing order has decreased. Generally, one type of order cannot increase withoutdecreasing the other. Each order has its own direction. Each order is unique.And all there is throughout the universe is order. We observe order in the universe and are amiss at why it exists over disorder.We typically imagine that our corner of the universe must be a tiny island oforder within a greater chaos. The term order within chaos is common. However,once we learn to appreciate the two kinds of order, existentially speaking, itseems more apt to say that chaos exists within order. If the disorder of symmetry isinversely the order of grouping, and if every pattern consists of a combination oftwo orders, then all there can be is order. In the poetic words of the photogra-pher Catherine Ames, “the order and chaos are one.”The Gyres After achieving his Nobel in 1923 the poet William Yeats came to portray thetransformation from one order to the other with what he called gyres. Theseimages relate to the double wedge shape of pattern space, but they more accu-rately portray the measure or intensity of one order compared to the otherthroughout the entire span of what is possible. They represent how the twoorders combine and so become two parts of the same description. Figure 7.3: Different Gyres described by Yeats. The two cones effectively represent the integration and inseparability ofgrouping and symmetry orders. It is said that Yeats discovered the imagesthrough the mystical experience of his wife Georgie Hyde-Lee, who demon-strated a gift for automatic writing. In various ways Yeats diagrammed twocones or wedges embedded together. Yeats notes that the information his wifeacquires mystically seems to come from a common dream they and a few others
  • 104. 90 | EVERYTHING FOREVERshared. Noteworthy, it is well known that Yeats studied the writings of EmanuelSwedenborg, a Swedish scientist in his time turned religious leader, who wrote,“All physical reality, the universe as a whole, every solar system, every atom, is adouble cone; where there are ‘two poles one opposite the other, these two poleshave the form of cones.” The second law is meant to describe the flow of patterns and processes oc-curring in nature. It attempts to describe the fundamental way that the physicaluniverse changes as time passes, stating that the overall entropy of a system;entropy being the measure of spent energy, always increases with time, which istrue, there is no way to get around that law of nature, but the second law alsomakes a statement which erroneously assumes a connection between a loss ofusable energy and an increase in disorder. And we find now that this part of thesecond law cannot be true, primarily because there is no such thing as generaldisorder. Symmetry order is the disorder of grouping order, and grouping orderis the disorder of symmetry order. If the order of one is the disorder of theother, then there is no room for a general disorder. All there is in nature isordered patterns of one type or the other, and combinations thereof. We envision order and chaos as being opposed, and chaos theorists speak ofan order at the edge of chaos, but neither accurately represents order as it existsin nature. The order that is so visible throughout our universe springs fromcombinations of imbalance and balance. Whether we speak of the even distribu-tion of galaxies, or gaseous particles that disperse evenly throughout availablespace, we find what is happening is that time is evolving away from the mostextreme state of imbalance to the most extreme state of balance. When onelearns to see this transition, it suddenly is visible in everything from red hotflowing materials that solidify into rock or steel, to water vapor which crystallizeinto a snowflake. My own early diagram, meaning to show the opposition and exclusivity oftwo orders was simply of a square split in half by opposite corners, and likewisewas meant to show that the extreme of one order type is the disorder of theother. Figure 7.4: Order gradients indicating the absence of a general disorder. The order of one type is the disorder of the other.
  • 105. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 91 Symmetry order is responsible for all the qualities of, and preferences for,balance in the world, from spiral galaxies to the dissipation of gases, even per-haps to the human yearning for peace. In regards to the Universe as a whole, theultimate singularity, and the ultimate example of perfect symmetry or sameness,is plain old empty space. The single property of the whole universe, from whicheverything is made, and which everything is transforming back into, is just space,although in learning this, it is so important to understand that things are lessthan, not more than space. The entire world of material things is a fragment ofthe whole. Everything we know as real is less than the space it exists in, and notmore than empty space or nothing. That low opinion we have of nothingness isall wrong. What we think is nothing is perfect symmetry. Presently we have it allbackwards. Physicists and cosmologists have long questioned whether a state of perfectsymmetry ever existed in the past, we just havent ever considered it as a possiblefuture. We have been convinced instead, because we observe a measure ofrandomness that the order of the universe is simply winding down. But if any-thing it is winding up! Everything is enfolding together. The final state of zerowhich the universe has been evolving toward since the very dawn of time issimply the native state of the Universe. It is the timeless whole. It is truly every-thing forever. And we aren’t really becoming, we are already there. The universewe know, the past, the future, and the infinity of other universes, all exist simul-taneously. We are inside that whole. We are a part of the native state of zero,part of the eternal present.
  • 106. 92 | EVERYTHING FOREVER © Ken Libbrecht www.SnowCrystals.comThe electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomicparticles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and everystar that shimmers in the sky. Everything interpenetrates everything, and althoughhuman nature may seek to categorize and pigeonhole and subdivide the variousphenomena of the universe, all apportionments are of necessity artificial and all ofnature is ultimately a seamless web.Michael Talbot ~~~Frequently consider the connection of all things in the Universe. ... Reflect uponthe multitude of bodily and mental events taking place in the same brief time,simultaneously in every one of us and so you will not be surprised that manymore events, or rather all things that come to pass, exist simultaneously in theone and entire unity, which we call the Universe. ... We should not say ‘I am anAthenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a Citizen of the Universe.Marcus Aurelius
  • 107. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 93According to the movement of reason, plurality or multitude is opposed to unity.Hence, it is not a unity of this sort which properly applies to God, but the unityto which neither otherness nor plurality nor multiplicity is opposed. This unity isthe maximum name enfolding all things in its simplicity of unity, and this is thename which is ineffable and above all understanding.Nicholas of CusaChapter EightBeautiful DiversityUnifying the One and the Many For every north there is a south, for every up a down, for every forward abackward. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Everyschool kid learns how to pair together opposites such as hot and cold, smoothand rough, short and tall. On the playground we learn what goes up must comedown. And as we grow older there are lessons to be learned about pleasure andpain, strength and weakness, love and hate. In stranded moments throughoutlife we contemplate opposites of good and bad, wrong and right, darkness andlight. The philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Every sweet hasits sour; every evil its good.” But does absolutely everything have an opposite?And if so, and it is also true what they say, that opposites attract, then whathappens when all the opposites meet in the middle? In between opposites there is always a middle ground, and yet the middle canbe awfully difficult to describe. Between thin and tall there is the average height.Between heavy and light there is the average weight. We usually have to useneutral words and phrases such as medium, average, the most common, thenorm, to define the middle ground between opposite attributes, because oddlyenough there aren’t special words that identify the middle ground. What worddefines the middle between strong and weak, hot and cold, sharp and dull, hardand soft, or easy and difficult? The middle ground is almost always nameless andyet we can easily recognize it exists between each opposite. There are opposing directions in politics, the left wing and the right wing, butof course the balance between liberal and conservative is simply called themiddle of the road? Why aren’t those ‘middle of the roaders’ allowed a specialname of their own, or a political party of their own, like everyone else? And whyaren’t there more of these people. Where do they hang out? I can’t rememberever meeting any of them. Could it be that when people reach the middle of theroad they just disappear without a trace? Or is it that they just don’t speak up, ordon’t have an opinion? Why are the rest of us so clearly on one side or theother? There are left wingers and right wingers in politics, religion, justice,
  • 108. 94 | EVERYTHING FOREVEReducation, and even art. Why is everyone so polarized into camps, or sides, orgroups? In the study of human personality, Carl Jung, and later Isabel Myers andKatherine Briggs identified the four temperaments that define the essence ofeach person’s personality. A multiple choice test identifies a person as morethinking or more feeling, more sensory oriented or more intuitive, more intro-verted or more extroverted, and finally in the last divide it tells if a person ismore spontaneous, flexible, and free to flow with the ups and downs of life, oroppositely if they are more inclined to be planned, rigid, structured, and orga-nized. The four divides effectively define sixteen basic personality types. It canbe quite surprising to find how accurate one’s own personality and behavior isdescribed in respect to being one or the other of each of these temperaments.Yet I have wondered, with billions of people on this planet, isn’t there oneperson out there who is right in the middle, who isn’t any one type more thanthe other. Really there must at least be many thousands, but why hasn’t theirpersonality been identified as the seventeenth type? What is their personalitylike? Do they have one? And how come I hear somebody telling these individu-als (if I can call them that) to “take a stand”, “be somebody”, “make your mark!”Why are we expected to be off center? What is so terrible about being in themiddle? All opinions, all traits, all characteristics, all forms, have a middle ground, butwe don’t name the middle ground apparently because we think it’s too plain andboring to be given a name. We usually act as if there is nothing in the middle, asif when two sides blend together they cancel out or disappear. But just becausethe middle ground is always less distinct and pronounced than the definitiveextremes on either side, why do we go and think the middle ground is a formlessnothing. This elusive middle ground between opposites is itself a physical part of real-ity, although it depends upon how we look at it as to whether we define it as acombination or a cancellation. It can be seen as inclusive, as the combined sumof opposite properties, or it can be seen as exclusive; the negation or cancella-tion of opposite properties. It can be seen as the potential to be either or it canbe seen as a nonexistent neither. And since we are each defined by our ownparticular imbalances, it often depends on our own temperament as to whetherwe see the middle ground as the whole, or as a void. The great egos, the loud and obnoxious, the pronounced types, of course seethe middle ground as boring, empty, and repulsive. The practical, the conserva-tive, the sensory oriented skeptic, tends to see the middle ground as irrelevantbecause it doesn’t, or it doesn’t seem to, have identifiable qualities. What isn’tphysically definitive doesn’t exist. The classical physicists of the past century, inconcert with mathematical logic, have strictly seen the merging of opposites as acancellation. Someone with a practical and physical personality prefers to define
  • 109. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 95reality as limited to physical things and measurable properties. On the otherhand, the more intuitive, the progressive, the insightful, the more spiritual types,tend to sense the middle ground as a whole containing all opposing sides. Theytend to depreciate the physical and see the balance between opposites as a unity,as two sides of the same coin. The middle ground is seen as a foundation or axis,from which form springs outward. For some, the combination of all oppositesforms a single unified whole, a common oneness. This is the central core ofmany philosophies and religions in the east. A common belief in Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism asserts the unity andinterrelatedness of all things. Brahman in Hinduism and for the Yogi is theunchanging and infinite background of all physical being. It is the sum totality ofall. Likewise, in Chinese Taoism the word Tien or Tao refers to the ultimate sumof all. Everything exists in relation to the Tao and everything is a part of theTao, even though the Tao is one thing. Therefore nothing can exist or havemeaning apart from the Tao. Out of the Tao comes the Yin and Yang, the twoopposing forces or natures. In Buddhism the Dharmakaya is the experience of atimeless unity devoid of all physical characteristics, which is said to be truereality. The Heart Sutra of Buddhism states “...Form Does not Differ From theVoid, And the Void Does Not Differ From Form. Form is Void and Void isForm...” Oneness was also a common message of many great philosophers, includingXenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Plato, Plotinus, and Giordano Bruno.Xenophanes appears to have influenced a long line of other philosophers withhis belief in an infinite and eternal Universe that is unable to change. He un-doubtedly influenced the development of religion as he described the infinitewhole as an omniscient God that sees all, thinks all, and hears all, “one godgreatest among gods and men”. A few years later Heraclitus called the unity ofopposites “Logos”. And following Xenophanes, the logically minded Par-menides described being as innate and without any opposite of non-being, sincenon-being cannot exist, and he also argued that being is ultimately timeless andunchanging. In that belief Parmenides treated time, form, distinction, and allduality, as illusion. Plato also considered the visible world to be an illusion, one that producesweakly assumed beliefs in the illusion. In the allegory of the cave he suggests theworld we experience is like the shadows of another much deeper reality. Plot-inus, like the Buddhists saw the great Oneness as beyond all attributes, includingeven being and non-being. More recently, the Italian Philosopher GiordanoBruno wrote: “Everywhere is one soul, one spirit of the world, wholly in thewhole and in every part of it, as we find in our lesser world also. Thissoul...produces all things everywhere; so that for the generations of some eventime is not required...”
  • 110. 96 | EVERYTHING FOREVER In modern times, Ralph Waldo Emerson in believing that opposite halvesinevitably produce a whole writes: POLARITY, or action and reaction, we meet in every part of nature; in darkness and light; in heat and cold; in the ebb and flow of waters; in male and female; in the inspiration and expiration of plants and animals; in the undulations of fluid and of sound; in the centrifugal and centripetal gravity; in electricity, galvanism, and chemical affinity. Super-induce magnetism at one end of a needle, the oppo- site magnetism takes place at the other end. If the south attracts, the north repels. To empty here, you must condense there. An inevitable dualism bisects nature, so that each thing is a half, and suggests another thing to make it whole; as spirit, matter; man, woman; subjective, objective; in, out; upper, under, motion, rest; yea, nay. It is extremely difficult to contemplatively turn a switch within oneself andsuddenly see the world in an entirely different way. But if we really take a carefullook at the way all opposites are bound by a neutral center, and simultaneouslyconsider the likelihood that beyond our personal experience of time literallyeverything exists timelessly, meaning that all the opposites exist simultane-ously…and then we try to imagine what the universe would be like if we couldglimpse that whole if only for a brief moment, the vision we would see could beinterpreted to be nothing at all. In seeing everything we wouldn’t see anythingbut an endless single uniformity, i.e., empty space. In perceiving the whole, theonly property or characteristic to observe is the serene surface of balance anduniformity. So even though the great oneness is full, it is our nature to be blindto the endless dichotomies that exist beneath the surface we emerge from. Scientists are already aware that the seeming empty space around us, or be-tween the stars and galaxies, is not ever actually empty. Underneath the quietsurface of space, the microscopic background is bubbling with virtual particlepairs which emerge from nowhere, always both a positive and a negative pairedtogether, so that they immediately attract and collide. An equal positive meets anequal negative, and so the sudden finite creations are instantly destroyed. For aninstant the particles are small expressions of grouping order until they mergetogether again and the balance of symmetry order returns. This keeps the surfaceof our surrounding ocean calm. Of course we are not accustomed to recognizing the simplicity of perfectuniformity and sameness as being properties of an underlying order. It is achallenge to genuinely appreciate our surroundings as being so full, containingan infinite number of other worlds. We easily recognize the balance and symme-try in the pattern of a snowflake as being highly ordered. Yet the same qualitiesof symmetry and balance pushed to ever greater extreme leads to an indistinctsameness. The funny thing about our experience of physical reality is that we areso tuned into appreciating the organizational properties of grouping order, or
  • 111. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 97the pattern complexity of both orders, that the uniformity of symmetry orderdoesnt seem like anything of any importance.Ugly Symmetry, Beautiful Diversity As mentioned, the simple reason that we dont commonly recognize symme-try order distinct from grouping order is that the blending together of objects,the dilution of form into its surrounding space, in extreme, produces a blanduniformity. Uniformity in appearance is plain and boring. It is the world paintedone color. So when oneness is compared to the diverse complexities of humanexperience, grouping order steals the show. In addition to those who have discovered two types of order, there is oneperson who has consciously recognized symmetry as a distinct and separatecomponent in nature which is increasing as the universe evolves. The chemistShu-Kun Lin, creator of Molecular Diversity Preservation International and founder ofthe journal Entropy has recognized the connection between increasing entropyand symmetry. In Lin’s similarity principle, higher symmetry correlates withincreasing entropy. Lin boldly states that “the universe evolves towards a maxi-mum symmetry.” Thus Lin understands as I have explained here that symmetryincreases with time, and likewise has concluded inversely that the universe isever more asymmetrical in the past. Lin does not yet refer to symmetry as a form of order. Instead Lin has rec-ognized the ugliness of high symmetry in relation to the diversity of lessersymmetry and asymmetry, which adds an interesting perspective to our discus-sion. To explain the ugliness of symmetry and the beauty of diversity Lin writes: Children understand the beauty of diversity. On the walls of a childs classroom or bedroom a visitor may find a lot of paintings, drawings and even scrawls created by the kids. If you do not put some colorful drawings there, the children will cre- ate their own. The innocent children want to destroy the ugly and boring symme- try surrounding them. If your kids destroy symmetry on the walls, they are doing well to be creative. Diversity is beautiful. Symmetry is not. Coffee with sugar and cream is an interesting drink because of its diversity in taste (sweet and bitter) and color (white and dark). The United States is considered a healthy country because of its tolerance to all kinds of diversity (racial diversity, cultural diversity, religious diversity, etc.). Without such appreciation of diversity, this country would become much less colorful and less beautiful. If everyone behaves the same, looks the same, and there is a lot of symmetry, the world would be truly ugly. I see democ- racy as a sort of social diversity. Lin very interestingly focuses on the surface uniformity of symmetry, and heuses the term ugly symmetry to describe the plain character and decreasinginformation of high symmetry. As Lin describes it, “Symmetry is in principlegenerally ugly because it is associated with information loss or entropy increase.”which is a quite reasonable conclusion when we consider what patterns of
  • 112. 98 | EVERYTHING FOREVERsymmetry present to us as compared to the vast diversity of asymmetry existentin the human world of experience. In contrast to the focus throughout this book on the enfolded nature ofsymmetry order, Lin’s focus is on how we as humans relate to extreme symme-try. In order to convey an important new way of looking at the world, Lin ispointing out that extreme symmetry is ugly compared to the beautiful diversitywe experience. Human beings spend their lives working to maintain and possiblyimprove our physical stability as a distinct thing in the world. Most people don’tdescribe themselves as an object in a world of objects, and yet most do seethemselves as a separate being apart from other things. We go to great lengths tomaintain the objects that we identify with. Most people shrink at the idea of theuniverse becoming empty of things. So then how should we interpret thisincrease in symmetry taking place in the universe? What good is it if it threatensour continued existence? Lin being a scientist also relates the plain (ugly) uniformity of symmetry toinformation loss. In what is called Information Theory, entropy is consideredvery generally to be a loss of any information (which happens to be related tothe present paradigm where one sees increasing entropy as increasing disorder).Information can be thought of in this way as all physical form, and the loss ofinformation is like a segment of writing or a map on a white piece of paperfading with time. As the ink fades the information is lost, and finally all thatremains is the white paper, which conveys no information, as least from ourperspective in a world of finite objects and things. Lin writes: The Greek word symmetry means the "sameness measure". It is therefore closely related to distinguishability or similarity. Symmetric structure is stable but not nec- essarily beautiful. All spontaneous processes lead to the highest symmetry which is the equilibrium or a state of "death". Life is beautiful but full of asymmetry. Lin’s perspective is certainly valid and extremely helpful. His vision lends an-other perspective to the mix, and reminds us to appreciate the beauty of asym-metry. For science his theory constitutes a major step forward towardrecognizing the role of increasing symmetry in the evolution of time. It could besaid that in all of science, Lin’s recognition of increasing symmetry is the mostadvanced view of the universe from the bottom-up perspective, since he recog-nizes the actual direction of time is toward symmetry. However, once we havelearned to see symmetry as a separate component of a pattern, the next step is torecognize symmetry as a distinct type of order. When we make the mistake of merely identifying with material things, andsee reality as a product of material things, we are thereby assuming that imbal-ances and asymmetry are all that exist and are all that constitutes physical reality,in which case we run into paradoxes, where for example, existence and orderseem unlikely or impossible. Once one recognizes the enfolded order behind the
  • 113. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 99surface uniformity of high symmetry, that recognition, that step forward, leadsto a universal perspective in which all facets of the universe start to make sense.We then learn why the universe is so ordered. We recognize the actual differencebetween the past and future, and we find a meaningfulness to time. We recog-nize the impetus of time, the drive toward balance. Those mysteries can’t besolved until we acknowledge the enfolded implicate order as a timeless base,which is not actually beneath but above the surface of things. Of course subjectively one’s instinct abhors the notion of loss of form. Thethought of formlessness is almost horrifying to our identification with form,even if the complex forms around us are becoming the oneness we otherwiseidealize. The uniformity of symmetry from the vantage point of an intricatelydiverse world in which life is manifest is not merely ugly but dangerous, a threatto our very being. We are conditioned to see oneness as a threatening emptinessbecause we identify so intimately with things. We see ourselves as a thing. Wecollect things, we sell things, we ingest things, we expel things. The science ofphysics is all about the broken symmetry of things. Physics doesn’t study whole-ness or uniformity, it studies thingness. Basic mathematics counts things. Sci-ence is all about describing what we consider physically real, and theunderpinning of physicality is grouping order. Grouping order is an entireworldview. I cannot stress this point enough. The backward direction towardgrouping order is one of two basic forces of nature. So we shouldn’t be sur-prised to find an entire view of the world derived from grouping order. Thatview has been the dominant view in the past, but it is not the only view.Ugly and Beautiful Extremes Diversity is altruistically beautiful, and nothing exposes the diversity of hu-man beings more than the myriad of ways that we group together. People grouptogether when they associate with one religion, or a sports team, or a club, or ahobby, or an interest like art or science. There are baseball fans separate fromauto racing fans, painters separate from sculptors, physicists separate frombiologists. People group as a city, as a state, as a country. We group by fortune,by health, by skills, by developmental stages, and by education. We group byclass, by race, by wealth, by age, by fitness, and by sex. And yet without questionit is our diversity and measures of distinctiveness that also divide us apart fromone another. Groups, identities, classifications, define boundaries and oftentimes not only do they divide up the world, they lead to opposition and conflict.They lead to teasing, to harassment, to terrorism. Inequalities are arguably theleading cause of hate, crime, and war. So although diversity is unquestionablybeautiful, diversity also has an ugly side, in that such differences often bring outthe very worst in people, certainly so in those who have, as well as in those whodon’t.
  • 114. 100 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Alternatively, at times, in ways, we also break down and cross barriers, wetolerate or completely see beyond individual or group differences, and cometogether as a whole. We come together as states, or regions, or cities, to form alarger government. We come together as countries that share the same ocean, orcontinent or region, or the same planet, making laws to protect and safeguardcommon interests. We invest in one another. We care for one another. At timeswe forget or forgive and unite as people, as life, as a whole. So isn’t it when weharmonize with one another, when there is cohesiveness and consensus, whenwe recognize our relatedness, isn’t that when we are most beautiful? Isn’t itdiversity or difference that divides and sets us against one another, which defineswhen we are most ugly? Actually, sometimes our differences bring us together in wonderful harmonyor in play, or in exploration, without regular conflict, as in the way oppositesattract. And sometimes sameness divides us apart, such as a parent and childwho are alike, perhaps in being stubborn or opinionated. Children as they growup almost always avoid being too much like their parents, and try to developtheir own identity. Often times the detraction or repulsion away is caused fromnot wanting to make the same mistakes, or in not wanting to become the per-ceived negative side of another person or group. Still in other ways peoplesometimes unify together because a powerful or forceful person or group domi-nates or destroys the distinctiveness of an individual or another group. The willof one person or group imposes on the will of another, imprinting their owncharacter, their ideals, their religion, their culture, onto another person, group, oranother land. Self identity on one side is degraded or lost. Countries are invaded.Cultures and belief systems are suppressed. In extreme, entire cultural systemsare attacked and horribly massacred. The loss of culture not only occurs by destructive force and by coercion, butit also can result of positive forces. Sometimes a counterproductive dark side ofa culture is changed by persuasion or by setting an example, in an appeal toreason, or through kindness and caring, or all of the above through regularinteraction. Sometimes the deeply embedded ignorance and neuroses in a cultureare overcome as wealth, health, education, and technology is developed, ortransferred from one group to another, or traded between groups, but notablysometimes this forward step happens at great cost to the uniqueness of thatculture. The flip side of progressive influences is often the loss of a deeper lessrational connection to nature, to the past, to history, and to spirit. When we look at the big picture, imagine all the historical events of nations,all the different sports and festivities of various countries, the unique foods, thearchitecture, the belief systems, all this culture and diversity appears unques-tionably beautiful, yet differences do create conflicts that are sometimes horrify-ingly ugly. Gulfs of difference are often the cause of great evil and destruction.Moving in the direction of becoming increasingly different, we are ever more
  • 115. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 101inclined to polarize into some kind of conflict. And we do tend to polarize intotwo groups divided by some boundary. Such is the nature of grouping order,while the great beauty of diversity occurs somewhere in the middle between theugliness of extreme grouping and the surface ugliness of extreme sameness. It iswhen the most disparate tightly knit groups break apart into smaller groups, thebranching outward, the disintegration of stark difference, that we attain thehighest measures of beautiful diversity. The disintegration of stark difference into variety and diversity is a disintegra-tion of groups that inevitably leads toward an increase in sameness and symme-try. In the step from extreme polarization to greater diversity, people becomeless starkly different and so invariably more alike. So increasing symmetry is animportant contributing part of diversity. Both grouping and symmetry share arole in diversity and its beauty. They are in fact the two defining forces. Diversityis an intermediary domain, a stage in the transformation, of one order becomingthe other. Dr. Lin isn’t actually meaning to suggest that symmetry in all measure orforms of expression is ugly, but rather, he is pointing to the same fact I ampointing to here, that a blend of two orders creates the wide range of interestingdiversity. As an example he points to the small mole on Cindy Crawford’s leftcheek. Cindy Crawford is of course one of the most widely known supermodelsof her era, and the mole has been noted by many to be a feature that actuallyenhances her otherwise highly symmetrical attractiveness. Diversity is beautiful and it could be argued that sameness is ugly, however,the direction away from diversity toward grouping also results in ugliness. Thatdirection away from symmetry toward ever more extreme grouping is alsotoward a less than ideal condition for life. In the past the universe is increasinglydense and hot. In the same way that the increasing symmetry order in our futureis related to loss of energy and extreme cold, to the point of freezing time itself,the grouping order in our past relates directly to brutal heat and density. We allknow that time viewed in reverse portrays the universe melting into a denseplasma. Most people would rather be warm than hot, but everyone would ratherdie from cold than from heat. The conditions of the past are also unpleasant tolife and destructive to diversity. Further still, the very nature of grouping orderbeing increasingly divisive hints at a dark side to that extreme that we have onlybegun to expose here. In summary, hardly anyone would argue with the idea thatwe should appreciate the now, appreciate what we have, take care of it, anddon’t let it slip away. From our subjective perspective, in this illusion of beingseparate things, nothing else is as wonderful as the great stage of diversity be-tween extremes. It sounds incredibly idealistic at this time in history, but the trick of course toharmonizing and living together peacefully, to us all becoming the same fromsome other reason than a forced conformity that destroys diversity, is for each
  • 116. 102 | EVERYTHING FOREVERperson to become diverse, meaning everyone must develop all the many sidesand potentialities of themselves, as opposed to being imbalanced or one sided,so that we all appreciate the fullness of one another. The same is true of groups,of communities, of countries. The people of the Earth will only live in blissfulharmony when all societies have developed their fullness. It sounds so simpleand fully impossible I know. However, what seems to be the answer, the thingthat increases the measure that communities manage this kind of individual andcollective fullness is simply quality education, matched with wide experiences inyouth, and contemplation. As long as we develop fullness our darker side isoverwhelmed by the wisdom and understanding inherent in balance.Either/Or Fundamentally there are just two distinct directions of change or transforma-tion that keep surfacing here. In one direction groups of people can becomemore powerful and dominant, in contrast to other groups. In the other directionthere is a dilution of distinct groups toward the function of a single whole. In amarriage one person can become increasingly more dominant and define thecharacter of both, or the two can become increasingly more accepting of oneanother, each developing the traits of the other which they lack, and conse-quently grow individually as well as grow together as a couple. The same dichot-omy is true of the largest groups of people. The two directions would apply evenif an alien civilization from another star system were to make contact withhumanity. We might find alien visitors to be either backwardly aggressive warriors benton galactic domination, who are selfish and brutal, or an advanced cyborg racein a constant state of being at one with each other. There are also two ways thatpeople would react to alien visitors. People either resist change out of preferencefor the way things are or have been. Or they support and enforce change out ofa preference for a perceived future goal of growth and progress. Nothing high-lights how powerfully people might resist change than the idea of aliens landingand wanting to become friends. Individual people or groups can only react tosuch changes with a backward pull or a forward push. The backward pull is whatI like to call human gravity, since it relates to the way gravity attempts to recreatethe dense past. Backward people want to keep things as they are or even recreatethe past. Forward people want to change everything and make the world betterthan what has been in the past. Of course cosmically speaking, the real force ofgravity settles for maintaining the past against what would otherwise (withoutgravity) become an overly rapid expansion and growth into the future. Most importantly, considering Lin’s perspective in contrast to that ofBohm’s, we can identify two different ways of perceiving increasing symmetry,one as a bottom-up view, one a top-down view. When we see the outer surfaceof extreme symmetry becoming increasingly plain and boring we are seeing
  • 117. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 103reality from a grouping order perspective. From that place we see the expandinguniverse becoming flat and empty, and we see order decreasing (denying theincreasing symmetry all together). From that place we see the universe purely asfinite and materialistic. The world is arisen above nothingness. Matter is prizedand worshiped. Pronunciation is honored. “Rise up and be counted.” Suchviews arise out of the spirit of grouping order, or Bohm’s explicate order. Thereligion of this perspective could be paraphrased as “only imbalances are real”. Ordinarily we view reality from a perspective derived from grouping order.Much if not all of modern physics is based upon the axioms of grouping order.But there is another perspective of reality, another mode of perception, whichwe can shift into mentally. There is the dramatically different top-down view.The universe and the integrity of form is defined altogether differently from theunique perspective of symmetry order. Rather than viewing the substantiveworld as magically arisen above nothing, there is a valid alternative, a perspectivewhere all we know is less than everything. The symmetry order perspective senses an inner content to the world. It per-ceives all the possibilities within the uniform surface of space. As Bohm recog-nized, “We may be led to explore the notion that in some sense each regioncontains a total structure enfolded within it”. From this perspective the Uni-verse has a timeless and eternal nature. Things are not seen as separable fromthe whole, and so space and matter become one. In this unity the deeper mean-ingful, metaphysical, or spiritual aspects of reality are sensed existing beyond, yetintegrated with, the surface of appearances. It is never the less important to keep in mind how the top-down view comesalong with its own religion where the whole is considered to be all that matters,such as when we see God as only what matters and see the finite human worldas unimportant in comparison. From that place material things are unimportant.Achievement is unimportant. Only being is important. Only perfection is impor-tant. Such an extreme view can be just as one sided and mindless as the group-ing order perspective. Even as the two perspectives seem to contain an inner self consistency thatrepudiates the other view, as if there is an enormous gap in the transition be-tween sides, when the two views are respected as the two sides of reality then weunderstand reality. Only then can we move to experience the diverse worldproperly. Without the bottom-up there is no top-down. Without the top-downthere is no bottom-up. As some Eastern Sages have long explained, when weunderstand the true nature of reality there is no exclusion, no dividing boundarybetween thingness and wholeness, between nothing and everything. Silentmeditation has proven to be an extraordinary tool for moving a person toward apeaceful and balanced state of mind in which the fullness and unity of the worldcan be known and appreciated.
  • 118. 104 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Photo: Curious Crab © Nico Smit. . . part of metaphysics moves, consciously or not, around the question of know-ing why anything exists - why matter, or spirit, or God, rather than nothing atall? But the question presupposes that reality fills a void, that underneath Beinglies nothingness, that de jure there should be nothing, that we must thereforeexplain why there is de facto something.Henry Bergson ~~~There is still left a single story of a way. Along this way there are signs exceed-ingly many, that being is uncreated, and also imperishable, whole, unique,immovable, and complete. Nothing was not once nor will it ever be, since beingis now altogether.Parmenides ~~~Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned, not to see what is not.Maria Mitchell ~~~The idea of nothing has bugged people for centuries, especially in the Westernworld. We have a saying in Latin, Ex nihilo nuhil fit, which means "out ofnothing comes nothing." It has occurred to me that this is a fallacy of tremendousproportions. It lies at the root of all our common sense, not only in the West, butin many parts of the East as well. It manifests in a kind of terror of nothing, a put-down on nothing, and a put-down on everything associated with nothing, such assleep, passivity, rest, and even the feminine principles. But to me nothing -- thenegative, the empty -- is exceedingly powerful. I would say, on the contrary, youcant have something without nothing. Imagine nothing but space, going on andon, with nothing in it forever. But there you are imagining it, and you are some-thing in it.Alan Watts
  • 119. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 105I am well aware that it is not easy to elucidate in Latin verse the obscure discover-ies of the Greeks. The poverty of our language and the novelty of the themecompel me often to coin new words for the purpose. But your merit and the joy Ihope to derive from our delightful friendship encourage me to face any task how-ever hard. This it is that leads me to stay awake through the quiet of the night,studying how by choice of words and the poets art I can display before your minda clear light by which you can gaze into the heart of hidden things. The dread anddarkness of the mind cannot be dispelled by the sunbeams, the shining shafts ofday, but only by an understanding of the outward form and inner workings ofnature. In tackling this theme our starting point will be this principle:Nothing can be made out of nothing.Titus Lucretius Carus 96 B.C.Chapter NineSomething From Nothing? Why would anything simply exist? How could existence be the default stateof reality? It seems too good to be true, and yet, here we are. So why then doesnothing seem more probable, more simplistic, and more natural than a universeof many things? The physicist Max Tegmark points out that nothingness wouldhave zero information content, whereas a something universe contains informa-tion. For this reason, a nothingness seems to require no cause or explanationwhere in contrast a world of things being physical, being definitive, being diversein character and quality, requires an explanation or reason for existing. “The factis, nothing could be simpler than nothing — so why is there something in-stead?” remarks the astronomer David Darling. Like everywhere else, in science nothing is a general term with a vague defini-tion, and the word is always used generally and perhaps presumptuously inambiguous applications. The word nothing isn’t considered a scientific term, yetlike most of us, physicists and mathematicians do commonly make conceptualrelationships between the word nothing and other concepts such as zero, theempty set, a vacuum, and empty space. It is for that very reason scientists areastonished about how these same phenomenon behave in contradiction to ourexpectations of nothing. Indications of a vacuum or empty space having ahidden content or producing things such as virtual particles, is expressed as oneof the great curiosities of physics and nature. Many times scientists, due to thisissue, have remarked that apparently you CAN get something from nothing. There’s a Gary Larson cartoon that expresses in ingenious Larson fashionthe absurdity of entertaining the notion that something can come from nothing.It portrays two professors talking at a chalkboard, one exclaiming to the other a
  • 120. 106 | EVERYTHING FOREVERbreakthrough in his equation. “Yes, yes, I know that, Sydney ... Everybodyknows that! ... But look: Four wrongs squared, minus two wrongs to the fourthpower, divided by this formula, do make a right.” the professor states withastonishment. In my opinion, Larson is teasing science particularly for acceptingthe notion that the universe might have begun from nothing. I think the cartoonconveys how the deductive logic of science and math can sometimes miss outon what the intuitional mind knows to reject. If two wrongs are genuinely wrongthey don’t ever make a right, any more than the existence of the Universe cansuddenly pop out of nonexistence. Real nothings, and things that look like nothing, make up a large part of oureveryday life. We can see through air and water to the point that both can beinvisible…but then the wind blows and the rain falls. Any physicist will tell youthere are all sorts of surprises hidden within empty space. We can logically andreasonably relate the word nothing with empty space, with uniformity, with awhite canvas, all of which is fair and accurate, until we step over the line andpollute the reality of existent phenomena with a comparison to nonexistence.One has meaning while the other drains all inference of meaning. When we viewsomething from nothing as some kind of miracle, behaving as if we gained‘something’ physically existent from nonexistence, then we have crossed the line,because the nothing that we ‘get something from’ in nature is always being. Andbeing is innately full. The creations we observe in nature are always the unfold-ing of an already enfolded timeless whole. The Roman philosopher Titus Lucretius presented his own version of thisargument, he recognized that space can never end, for what would happen,Lucretius asked, if we throw a dart at the outer edge. "Wherever you may placethe ultimate limit of things, I will ask you: Well then, what does happen to thedart? The universe has nothing outside to limit it", wrote Lucretius, recognizingthen what we still believe today scientifically, that space or the universe cannotbecome thin or simply end, beyond which there is nothing. Later Einsteinshowed that space is flexible, and is curved by massive objects, and we now callthe curvature of space-time gravity. It followed from Einstein’s theories thatspace might be curved into some sort of loop, such as a figure eight, making theuniverse finite. But as mentioned, in the last few years scientists have determinedthat Lucretius was correct about the infiniteness of space, since the knownuniverse shows no sign of being curved into any kind of repeating loop. “Nothing comes from nothing”, Lucretius said, and I remember discoveringthis paradox in boyhood, because I walked around for several weeks fully con-vinced that the universe could not possibly exist. As my own existence persisted,I finally relented to the idea that something had somehow cheated its way pastthe original nothing. And a lot of people make that erroneous conclusion.Literally everyone recognizes the simple logic that something cannot come fromnothing, and yet in the face of our own existence and the unwavering presence
  • 121. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 107of the universe, and in the absence of any other explanation, we conclude thatby some fluke chance the impossible must have happened somehow. It’s actuallya terribly damaging form of surrender, not merely because it is a faulty explana-tion, but because it plants a seed in our mind that our internal logic is out ofsynch with the Universe. It even places into question a sensible reality. Considerhow damaging it is to place into question our ability to reason, and how damag-ing it is to not see the Universe or reality as ultimately sensible. “Nothing” isn’t a science word but the principle that existence is neither cre-ated nor destroyed is universally true throughout science. Everyone knows theobjects of everyday experience do not simply pop into existence. When we lookout with telescopes there are no distant edges to the universe beyond which liesthe domain of nonexistence. Matter and energy change form, they can eventransform into space. But all is just the reshaping of something else, the reshap-ing of what already exists. The First Law of Thermodynamics, which is perhapsthe most fundamental law of physics, states that energy is neither created nordestroyed. There are all sorts of conservation laws and equivalency principles inphysics and mathematics. What exists on one side of the equal sign is the sameas what exists on the other side. All sides exist balanced around equality. Itappears now that the universe begins as all energy and no space, and ends as allspace and no energy, so either the first law is wrong or there is a fundamentalequivalency between matter-energy and space. Space isn’t a form of nonexist-ence. Matter, energy, and space, are all part of the same thing. They are all partof the same existence. There is always an intricate logic hidden behind our expectations. In the caseof whether a universe should exist versus nothing at all, the existence of auniverse even seems to violate Ockham’s razor, which holds that the simplestanswer is usually the correct one. What could be simpler than having nothing toexplain? Based upon that principle alone, nothing at all seems more probablethan any universe. But simplicity is actually a feature of the real nothing thatexists, a quality of uniformity, the white world, the white canvas, an emptybackground. Expecting a nothing prior to existence to be simple is one of thebest examples of how we confuse the qualities of real nothings with a nonexist-ence, which by definition doesn’t have definable qualities at all, not even simpleones. Where we get into trouble is in imagining nothingness is similar to nonexist-ence. We imagine nothing as uniformity, formlessness, emptiness, and then increeps nonexistence, which actually belongs in a category of its own. We do soin part because we focus on “somethingness” as if it is the grand stage of reality,which is generally correct. But when we only identify with the magnificence ofone’s own little neighborhood we are failing to appreciate how we are insepara-bly part of a balanced whole. The eternal physically infinite Universe of uni-verses isn’t out there somewhere in the distance. It’s here, it’s there, it’s
  • 122. 108 | EVERYTHING FOREVEReverywhere. The infinite is right here within the one enormous moment of nowwe exist within. In the use of meaning, the meaning that otherwise defines all things in alllanguages, a nonexistence cannot be described, simply because nonexistencecannot be. Nonexistence cannot be imagined or conceptualized. It cannot besignified, resembled, or symbolized. By its own definition, a nonexistence cannoteven be inferred with any logical coherency. In this seemingly strange realizationnotice how we are confronting an anomaly, a single part of our thinking thatdoesn’t fit in with the rest. Nonexistence cannot be described with the ordinarymeaning of all language. What else in all of reality is completely without mean-ing? For this reason the term nonexistence does not actually belong as a memberof any language. It cannot be represented by any symbol. Its use is a contradic-tion in meaningfulness. By definition, nonexistence cannot be. All attempts to define nonexistence, even as the absence of existence or asthe negation of being commit a fundamental semantic crime. It is true that thewords absence and negation, or existence and being, each have real syntacticmeanings individually, but when placed together they express a radical contradic-tion, since they attempt to define with meaning a non-something which bydefinition cannot have meaning at all. It is the very existence of the universe andits attributes that creates meaning, or at least meaning and existence are inter-mingled and inseparable. Only existence allows for there to be meaning, just asonly meaning allows for there to be existence. The word nonexistence tries torefer to a single exception to that rule, and so far in history we have made amistake in thinking how that one exception is acceptable, when it’s nothing butdestructive to our vision. At the heart of the matter is that the total nothingness we imagine as an op-tion to existence is merely uniformity, a real nothing that exists, and this realnothing doesn’t relate to nonexistence at all. Almost every time we think of theword nothing we confuse meaning and non-meaning. If and when we fullydistinguish between nothing and nonexistence, we can see that nonexistence isnot really an option. It isn’t possible. It isn’t real. It never was. It never can be orcould be. It could never have been. The meaning of the word doesn’t even makesense. Nonexistence by its own definition cannot be. That is a very ponderousstatement I know, but it pans out to be an extremely valid point when we ask,why does a universe exist? Nonexistence is simply not an alternative to theuniverse being here. The simplest deduction in logic and the deepest intuition both lead to thissame realization. There simply is no alternative to existence. The only reason wecould ever find for why there is existence is that there is no alternative. Exis-tence is the default. And so following a time line into the past to search for thebeginning of existence can never reach any point of origin. There is no suchprecipice as the one we imagined earlier. Of course I am not suggesting that the
  • 123. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 109big bang didn’t happen, or that some creation of form didn’t happen in the past.I am saying what Stephen Hawking is saying with the no boundary proposal.There is no boundary between existence and nonexistence. The only boundariesare the cosmic absolutes, which are boundaries more like that of extremes ofcharacter or personality. Certainly from our perspective the evolution of timehas a beginning. If we should look far enough into the past we can find a pointwhere the evolutionary changes of our space-time begin, but that does notexclude the past from continuing to exist even after our time begins and travelsaway from it.Borrowing Meaning Why is there a word for nonexistence? The reason is that other words suc-cessfully borrow their meaning from another meaning. If something is non-white, we know the color is some other, at minimum, off-white color. If we saya temperature is not cold, the reference is to being greater than cold, so some-thing is warm or just right, or perhaps it’s not cold, but extremely cold. Anythingthat is not, is something else, except non-existence. The term nonexistence isentirely unique from all other words in that it attempts to borrow meaning in away that no other concept or idea attempts to borrow meaning, since the finalproduct or attempt at meaning by definition has no meaning. Any other case ofborrowed meaning refers to something not denied. If we refer to not-above,not-old, not-clear, non-Euclidean, or non-standard, all that is being referred tohas meaning independently. All such terms have a place in reality. But the wordnonexistence does not refer to anything independent. By definition it refers towhat can have no meaning at all. No other concept needs to, or tries to, attemptsuch a reference. And so no other concept fails in this same way. Nonexistence tries to specify the absence of existence, and without scrutinythis seems to work because all other such denials accomplish their task. It seemsto work because in physical reality when some thing doesn’t exist, there is indeeda void in its place, but the void left behind when we say there is nothing in therefrigerator is the real nothing, just singular form, and not a nonexistence. Infact the term nonexistence does not refer to anything that has any meaningwhatsoever. There cannot be a non-existent type of nothing, because the mean-ing of non and existence when used together form a contradiction. Only thenegating term non- and the word existence have meaning individually. Imaginingthat non-existence is a sensible concept is equal to imaging the phrase "beingdoesnt exist" can somehow make sense.A Look at Things That Don’t Exist We accept the word nonexistence partly because it makes sense to say uni-corns or square circles don’t exist. And if there is nothing in the refrigerator, we
  • 124. 110 | EVERYTHING FOREVERcan say, the milk doesn’t exist in the refrigerator. But what we are really saying isthat the milk isn’t in this location at this point in time. We are saying that themilk is not enfolded out of the implicate order. We are saying “there is noimbalance here to take energy from”. We know there is a basic principle consid-ering time and space, that things exist in locations relative to one another. Takeaway the separate locations in time and everything exists in the same place, likeideas. The same ideas are located everywhere we try to think. The absence of allthings that might exist in the space inside the refrigerator doesn’t ever create ablack hole of nonexistence. It merely turns that space into the seeming empti-ness of a spatial singularity. Similarly, in the absence of magical unicorns theuniverse still exists, so all that we can really properly say is that imaginary thingsdon’t assume physical form here in the same way we do. When we say dragons and unicorns don’t exist we are only really saying firstthat we don’t see them, and second that magical things that disobey the laws ofphysics don’t exist. The first statement is obviously just an issue of time andplace, since certain dinosaurs resemble dragons well enough to say they onceexisted, and in an infinite universe there are undoubtedly horse-like creatureswith single horns living on some other planet in some other galaxy. Whether ornot there are magical unicorns and dragons is quite another issue. Assuming forthe sake of argument that magical creatures are purely myth and don’t physicallyexist anywhere in any universe, what have we established? Actually we only aresaying that matter and forces of nature are not ever fashioned in a way that makedragons and unicorns a real physical part of a space-time system. But when weclaim something like unicorns are non-existent we are reversing our usual confu-sion, by adding qualities of the real nothing into a state of nonexistence. In theabsence of magical unicorns the universe still exists, so all that we are reallysaying is that imaginary things don’t exist in time. Square circles don’t have formeither, because there are rules to form that establish what is meaningful. Andthings that don’t have meaning don’t exist. We know that form in some way establishes or relates to what is meaningful,and we know that there exists perfect squares and perfect circles and we knowthat a shape cannot be perfectly square and perfectly circular at the same time.The meaning of each separate form or idea contradicts the other when definedas one thing. So again there is a reliance of meaning on form. Nonexistencecannot by definition be form, and the term does not produce any more truemeaning than a perfect square circle manages to have meaning. And sorry, asquare with rounded edges isn’t a perfectly square circle, but good try.
  • 125. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 111 So what it all comes down to is that in the timeless world of meaning, we caninvent a word to suggest non-meaning, but if the only way that we can infernon-meaning, is through the use of meaning, then we are just playing a trick onourselves. The use of meaning, cannot give meaning to something meaningless.Given that there is meaning, then all there is, and ever will be, and ever could be,is meaning. There is no alternative. All there is, and ever could be, is existence. Ifthe question is, how did something come from nothing? then the answer is simple.Nothing is balance and something is imbalance. If the question is, how did some-thing come from nonexistence? then there is no real meaning to the question. It is justan erroneous thought pattern in our heads that eventually we will erase as werealize being is the default without any alternative.
  • 126. 112 | EVERYTHING FOREVERA human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in timeand space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as somethingseparate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusionis a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection fora few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison bywidening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole ofnature in its beauty... We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking ifmankind is to survive.Albert EinsteinPart ThreeThe Comprehensibility of All In many years of conversations I have spoken to hundreds of people aboutinfinity, including physicians, priests, professors, teachers, and various freelancephilosophers, finding so many that carried with them a deep personal belief thatthe universe is infinite. Unfortunately, most people believe it is impossible tounderstand the universe if there are no limits, and so in suspecting the universeis ultimately infinite they consequently harbor a mistrust of the world, expectingthat some ultimate chaos is more primary and more powerful than whateversupports our place in the world. It is unfortunate that in science very little focushas been placed on attempting to understand the infinite, and how we relate toit. Of course the infinite is a bit intimidating. One could spend an entire lifetimevisualizing strange science-fiction universes or mystical fairy tales, without evermaking a dent in the enormity of what is possible. All the possible stories in allthe possible places of dreams and tales seem completely inexhaustible andbeyond summation. Our brain power seems so feeble when facing the infinite.And yet it shouldn’t be overlooked that we can speak a single word and some-how capture all that exists throughout eternity. The word Universe can include all things, all our thoughts, all that has everbeen or will be. The word everything with equal power engulfs all being and alltime in an instant. Either word can in meaning stretch to any length or size,becoming infinite to any measure that the universe itself is infinite. We some-times take for granted these powers we wield, often assuming the map is not theterritory, expecting that we merely attempt to describe an indescribable universewith words. Yet we wield ideas that are magical in strength and power. Then at
  • 127. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 113the peak of our power, words assume their role in the meaningfulness of nature,and there our great powers end. Ideas themselves bound our imagination.Meanings bound our minds and our thoughts. No word can mean more thaneverything, or less than nothing. We think within a universe of boundedthought. Words meaningfully manage to define all that exists and all that is imagi-nable. Einstein spoke of this eloquently as such, “The eternal mystery of theworld is its comprehensibility” So why is it that the physical universe seems toexist in concert with the meanings that define the words and ideas we thinkwith. Such profound questions are asked of science, even if they arent ordinarilyconsidered answerable with any great measure of certainty. We should at leastconsider that if the infinite universe is limited in some way, it is limited in con-cert with the very meanings that define language. So we should not be surprisedto find that words, as fragmentary and ethereal as they seem, can define theultimate boundaries of reality. In previous chapters I have meant to create a solid foundation for anyoneconsidering the timelessness of the greater Universe. I felt I should begin thebook this way, by introducing the two orders which is probably the underlyingtheme of this book, even if the ideas branch out in all directions. The questionwe are about to ask is also critically important in laying the foundation for all thefollowing chapters. We have been discussing timelessness and enfoldment. Nowwe can begin to focus on the meaning of infinity and descriptions of the infiniteUniverse.
  • 128. 114 | EVERYTHING FOREVER When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite. William Blake Photo: Romantica Stroll © Mark PennyThe infinite! No other question has ever moved so profoundly the spirit of man;no other idea has so fruitfully stimulated his intellect; yet no other concept standsin greater need of clarification than that of the infinite . . .David Hilbert ~~~The essence of the power of thought is its capacity for the universal, and it cannotrest till it has apprehended the most universal idea of all the infinite.James Orr ~~~For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all inrelation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far fromunderstanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnablyconcealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeingthe nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is en-gulfed.Blaise Pascal
  • 129. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 115Infinite Universe: Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some. Much biggerthan that in fact, really amazingly immense, a totally stunning size, real "wow,thats big" time. Infinity is just so big that by comparison, bigness itself looksreally titchy. Gigantic multiplied by colossal multiplied by staggeringly huge isthe sort of concept were trying to get across here.Douglas AdamsChapter TenInfinity Means What? In the winter of 1998, a team of scientists launched a probe to measure theoldest light in the universe in order to map the ever fading glow of energyleftover from the big bang. This wasn’t a space-ship though, it was a balloonthat carried a special type of telescope, a microwave anisotropy probe calledBoomerang, into the ionosphere over Antarctica. The scientists knew this probewould likely answer one of the oldest and most profound questions the humanmind has ever dared ask. What exists beyond the visible universe? Is spacecurved in a way that makes the overall universe enclosed and thus finite, or isthe night sky our window to infinity? Scientists knew, if there were no surprises,the data from this probe would squarely resolve the ancient mystery once andfor all. Is the grand arena of space positively curved, negatively curved, or flat?Sample templates had been prepared of all three cases, and the only surprise washow clear and succinct the results were. The measure of lumpiness within theearly universe matched up perfectly with the flat template, indicating that thegeometry of the large-scale universe extends infinitely in all directions. Although these findings didn’t make front page headlines in the daily news, itwas quite a profound moment really in the history of humankind, even worthyof a note in the great annuls recording the history of the universe. The recordfound in the widely read Cosmic Times looked something like this. “At 13 billion, 712 million, and 390,284 years after the beginning of time, in the Andromeda sector, the human population on Earth, a small water rich blue planet spinning around an average sized star, became knowledgably aware of the infinity of space, uncovering what is perhaps the most intimate detail about the Universe and reality.” In science, the factual evidence indicating the infinity of other worlds hasbeen piling up for some time. Once quantum theory was developed and itsimplications sorted out, it became difficult to be open-minded and believeanything except that we live in a Many-Worlds Universe. There are conservativehold outs to this day, but most of the high priests of science, physicists holdingpositions of tenure at the larger universities, adhere to the implications of quan-tum theory, just to name a few, David Deutsch the Cambridge physicist whopioneered quantum computing; Paul Davies, the popular author and Australian
  • 130. 116 | EVERYTHING FOREVERProfessor; John Wheeler, the most famous American physicist; and of coursethe immortal Stephen Hawking who holds Newton’s chair at Cambridge. It is no longer difficult to find evidence that the Universe is infinite. The mil-lion dollar question is: “where do we put the brakes on?” Just how infinite is theUniverse? What about other dimensions or parallel universes where the laws ofphysics are different than our own? What about other modes or realms ofreality? What really exists out there? To consider the options, there are severaldifferent possible scenarios, arranged here as a series of levels. We shall nowexplore them one at a time.
  • 131. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 117…an understanding of the infinite tree of universesseems to be needed in order to make statistical predic-tions about the properties of our own universe, whichis assumed to be a typical “branch” on the tree.Alan GuthScenario One:A Branching Out of Many Worlds Fractal Art: Discus © Paul DeCelle Henry Brougham, a respected scientist of the Royal Society of London rec-ognized the growing threat of Thomas Young’s papers. A physician and ascientist, Young had recently published a paper in the proceedings of the RoyalSociety arguing that light travels as a wave through an invisible backgroundmedium called the ether. Young and Brougham probably should have beenfriends. Young was five years older, and both were seen as exceptionally giftedstudents when they each attended Edinburgh University. They were both ac-cepted members of the Royal Society, but Young, a child prodigy who couldread fluently by the age of two, appeared the more exceptional to those whoknew of both. And in his article to the society the young doctor was attempting to alter thescientific wisdom of Brougham’s learning. Brougham himself had published apaper on light in agreement with the corpuscular theory. All the greatest schol-ars, Newton himself, had studied the various materials and behaviors of thephysical world and determined carefully that light is corpuscular, constructed oftiny but solid particles. That theory effectively explained the refraction of light.So Brougham felt this idea that light is a wave traveling through an invisibleether could not stand. It confused the fact that the physical world is logicallyunderstood as solid material in motion through empty space. The idea that lightmight be a wave had been dispelled a decade ago. A wave would have to existwithin some kind of mysterious medium. These arguments of Young’s wouldonly add confusion to the progress of real scientists. This was moving sciencebackwards. Young had to be silenced. He had to be ridiculed so that otherswould not be swayed into similar senseless meanderings. Young may have been the more gifted, but Brougham had at his power theEdinburgh Review, a highly popular journal he and several others had founded.Brougham contributed articles to his journal regularly. He knew in this case heshould not publish his name as the author of the review. It would be best toprint the review anonymously as if speaking authoritatively for the journal andother scientists. Some knew of the long smoldering envy Brougham felt towardsYoung. Seeming to be the larger voice of many, Brougham could criticize theRoyal Society for printing Young’s papers and ridicule this recent paper asspeculative foolishness, all without fear of reprisal.
  • 132. 118 | EVERYTHING FOREVER “It is difficult to deal with an author whose mind is filled with a medium ofso fickle and vibratory a nature” wrote Brougham. “We have of late observed inthe physical world, a most unaccountable predilection for vague hypothesis dailygaining ground; and we are mortified to see, that the Royal Society, forgetful ofthose improvements in science to which it owes its origin, and neglecting theprecepts of its most illustrious members, is now, by the publication of suchpapers, giving the countenance of its high authority to dangerous relaxations inthe principles of physical logic. We wish to raise our feeble voice against innova-tions, that can have no other effect than to check the progress of science, andrenew all those wild phantoms of the imagination which Bacon and Newton putto flight from her temple….We demand, if the world of science, which Newtononce illuminated, is to be as changeable in its modes, as the world of taste, whichis directed by the nod of a silly woman, or a pampered fop? Has the RoyalSociety degraded its publications into bulletins of news and fashionable theoriesfor the ladies who attend the Royal Institution?” The bitter attack carried on forseveral pages. “We now dismiss...the feeble lucubrations of this author, in whichwe have searched without success for some traces of learning, acuteness, andingenuity that might compensate his evident deficiency in the powers of solidthinking." Even without this flagrant assault from Brougham, the implications ofYoung’s discovery that light waves interfere with one another may have goneunappreciated. It wasn’t until over ten years had passed that others began tomake the same conclusions. When Young first published his work on interfer-ence even he did not realize its importance, and consequently he was not veryauthoritative in his writing, which Brougham took full advantage of. Young triedto show that the iconoclastic Isaac Newton had not rejected the wave theory, anargument which Brougham harassed. After Newton the universe was imaginedto be like a giant machine, like a clock with gears that produce a single preciseoutcome when moved forward or backward. Newton, the model pragmatist,even described light as tiny solid particles. So when physicists later focused onthe atomic world they naturally expected to find the particles that Newton calledcorpuscles. Today we understand that light behaves in some ways like a solid particlewhen it interacts with other particles, however, when light travels from place toplace it behaves like an invisible wave of probability. Like a wave in an ocean ithas no definite position. It is far easier to imagine a light particle has a distinctposition in time and space; otherwise we have to explain how a particle couldhave the power to disappear and reappear elsewhere. Only ghosts possess suchpowers. Yet both energy and matter particles, even the particles that make upour bodies, regularly disappear between one position and the next. Particles onlyassume physical form when they interact with other particles. Otherwise theyexist as indefinite ghosts in a ghost world of probability.
  • 133. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 119 Part of what made Young question the corpuscle theory of light expoundedby Newton was the way two light beams can shine through each other withoutthe particles colliding and scattering as they cross paths. The two crossing beamsof light remain invisible between source and destination. But Young also recog-nized that light behaves similarly to sound waves, which Young had also beenstudying. Young then devised ways of exposing how light waves interfere withone another just as sound and water waves interfere. Young produced a narrowbeam of light that passed through a thindivider onto a screen. The divider splits thelight beam in half. It would follow logicallythat if the beam of light was made fromtiny particles then the result should just betwo spots of light on the screen. But Youngfound the light multiplied into a pattern oflight and dark lines, which modern scien-tists call an interference pattern. In Young’s experiment the interference pattern results when the wave ofeach single particle is divided, then upon recombining the two waves interferewith one another. As indicated below, the resulting interference is virtuallyidentical to the interference caused when two waves on the surface of waterinteract after they pass through two openings in a wall. The two waves collidingtogether add up in some places and cancel in other places. Stage One Stage Two Stage Three Figure 10.2: A light source sends out waves which pass through two slits causing two separate waves on the other side of the barrier. Those secondary waves are still part of the original probability which left the source. The interference pattern is essentially the combination of all the many differ-ent possible paths that the light can travel between source and destination.When a particle travels, and this is true of all particles, both light and matter, theparticle doesn’t choose just one single path among all possible paths. Insteadparticles travel all the possible paths simultaneously. Then among all the paths asingle outcome is selected. If instead particles of light and matter traveled frompoint A to B along a direct path we could of course predict precisely where theywill end up, but in traveling as a wave there is no way to predict the final posi-
  • 134. 120 | EVERYTHING FOREVERtion of a particle. In fact, within the wave, which is merely the shape of probablepositions for the particle to exist within, the final outcome seems to be chosenrandomly. Today interference is usually revealed using laser light which shines throughtwo narrow slits onto a screen, but interference experiments have also beenconducted with matter particles such as electrons being shot through two slits.The tiny electron particles of ordinary matter behave just like sound waves orwater waves. Even if the electron particles are sent one at a time the interferencepattern will still develop. This is because the wave of each single particle travelsthrough both slits to interfere with itself. The interference pattern is not causedfrom many particles interfering with one another, it is caused by each particlepassing through both slits simultaneously, so the particle interferes with theprobability of its own destination. Can we outsmart the particle and place some kind of detector at each slit, todetermine which slit the particle is actually passing through? In fact as soon asan actual location of any particle is determined, as soon as it interacts with somemethod of measurement, the multiplicity of the waveform collapses, so theparticle is no longer moving in the direction of the screen. Once we detect theparticle in any way we have forced it to assume a single definite position inreality. Of course the mind naturally rejects the idea that something physicallyreal can suddenly vanish into a ghostly world of pure probability. It seems morelogical that we simply cannot observe the particle without disturbing it. This isindeed true, but there is more to acknowledge. One of the founders of quantum theory, Werner Heisenberg discoveredwhat is now a key principle concerning all quantum behavior. As a particle givesup information about its location, information about its momentum is lost inequal measure. This is called the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which statesthat both the position and momentum of a particle cannot be known. The morewe know about one, the less we know about the other. So as a rule, whenever aparticle assumes a precise position in reality, in that instant it has no momentum.And whenever a particle is moving from one place to another, it has no specificlocation. Only when the particle interacts with something else does it thenestablish which physical reality we will experience, but in between interactionsthe particle exists in another type of reality, a sort of multiplicity where allpossibilities are combined together. How should we interpret the meaning of a single particle passing throughboth slits simultaneously? The most conservative explanation, called the Copen-hagen interpretation claims the particle has no real existence in between thesource and the screen. When a particle is in its wave-like state it is said there isonly a probability of the particle’s existence at a future destination. This led thephysicist Neils Bohr to claim that the quantum world has no real existence, atleast not one that can be described with ordinary terms. We might say, the mode
  • 135. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 121of reality in which the motion of the particle occurs is ghostly, of a completelydifferent kind of being unrelated to our own. The ghostly scenario is really just a conservative bare bones description ofwhat can be said for certain. It is the least amount of conclusion, and not reallyan interpretation. Any effort at interpreting the actual meaning or implicationsof quantum mechanics leads toward the extended conclusion that beneath thesurface of our own world there is an enfolded level of reality, in which case theghost world isn’t ghostly at all. Quantum theory was developed near the turn of the century and it wasn’tuntil 1957 that all the possibilities within each quantum wave led a young gradu-ate student of physics named Hugh Everett III to produce the now famousMany-Worlds Theory as his doctorate thesis. Everett was a student of JohnArchibald Wheeler, the renowned American physicist and longtime Professor atPrinceton. The Many-Worlds Theory makes the simple conclusion that oneprobabilistic outcome is as real as any other, predicting an immense surplus ofmany-worlds branch away from each moment of now. We can imagine an infinite number of copies identical to our present, butthen in the next moment, in each copy there is one single particle that is in aslightly different position than all the others. The denser areas of probability inthe interference pattern represent the more probable worlds, while the thin areasrepresent the least probable worlds. The areas outside the wave pattern that arecompletely dark can be thought of as worlds outside the realm of quantumpossibility.The Two Transformations There are two basic transformations occurring in every moment of every daywhich are inevitably built into the unfolding of time. In the first transformation,the majority of bizarre futures one might find in the imaginary stories of sciencefiction, horror, and fantasy tales are erased from possibility. This boundarybetween what is possible and impossible is created by what we otherwise knowas the laws and forces of nature. The forces of nature control and define theareas that matter particles can move about within. Forces are simply the shapesof probability waves, and those shapes bond particles together, in groups, inlattices, in symmetries. As if simultaneously aware of the positioning of all thematter in the universe, probability forces restrict particles to the possiblerhythms of space-time. Once this first transformation is complete there are stillmany different tomorrows possible that abide by nature’s rules. We can imagineall sorts of different events that could possibly happen in the unfolding of eachnew day. The quantum wave is essentially all the other worlds that are equal inpossibility to our own.
  • 136. 122 | EVERYTHING FOREVER This first transformation is probably best described by the Sum Over Histo-ries method of mathematically determining the shape of the probability wave,which was developed by Richard Feynman. Feynmans original highly creativeapproach doesn’t merely consider the expected classical paths of particles, itmathematically sums every conceivable path through time and space, even thosethat disobey the laws of physics, so a particle zig-zags from left to right, andloop d loops irregularly in all directions, irrespective even of past and future.Yet when every conceivable path is considered and the amplitude of each issummed up, the irregular waves end up canceling one another, while only theexpected waves that abide physical laws remain. For some unknown reason,when all conceivable histories are summed all that remains are the possibilitiesof everyday life. Quantum mechanics led physicists such as David Bohm and John Bell to ar-gue that the wave-particle duality signifies a deep interconnectedness in nature.Where Bohm developed concepts such as implicate and explicate order toexplain the wave particle duality, Bell explained that no complete explanation ofthe quantum behavior of particles is possible within what we normally think ofas the physical universe. Bells theorem argues that quantum mechanics involvesa non-local process. In other words, some non-local process shapes the worldwe live in.The Second Transformation The first transformation eliminates all the weird or abstract worlds we mightfind in a horror movie. The second transformation is when the multiplicity ofpossible worlds transforms into the single world we live in. We only experienceone world at a time. But what causes this second transformation to happen?Exactly when does it happen? We naturally expect this second transformationoccurs as a solid and definite past rolls into an indeterminate future. Only thatisn’t how things work at all. Instead the past is also a wave of probability. Nothing reveals the inevitable existence of Many-Worlds more vividly thanthe story of Schrödingers cat. To illustrate how the absurd multiplicity of thequantum wave effects the unfolding of physical reality, the physicist ErwinSchrödinger created a vivid thought experiment where he places an ordinary catwithin a delicately rigged box. Inside this box there is a radioactive atom that isin a probabilistic state of decay. The atom has a fifty percent chance of decayingwithin a short duration of time, a half life, of about five minutes. If this atomshould decay it will expel a single electron particle that will register on a Geigercounter, also inside the box, and upon detection a hammer will break a glass vialof cyanide gas, instantly killing the cat, that is, if the particle decays. So the dooris shut on this contraption and we wait five minutes.
  • 137. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 123 We know from quantum mechanics that until we open the box, in the sameway the photon travels through both slits, the atom remains in a wave-like stateof multiplicity where after five minutes, in half of all possible worlds it hasdecayed and in the other half it has remained stable. In fact, until there is adeterministic outcome which we create by opening the door and observing thecontents of the box, the atom exists in both states simultaneously. Schrödingerpointed out that since the atom remains in a wave-like state of nothing butprobability, as odd as it seems, the wave extends to the Geiger counter inside thebox, which also exists in a wave-like multiplicity of having detected the decayand opened the cyanide in half of all possible worlds, and having not in theother half, which further means that the seemingly single cat we placed in thebox is somehow simultaneously alive and dead. Of course this cat-unfriendly experiment has never taken place, it serves onlyto scientifically dramatize how quantum mechanics, one of the most successfultheories of science, extends to the larger macro-cosmic world of cats and people,and in so doing it forces us to dramatically change how we imagine the worldaround us. The state of the cat can be interpreted in one of two ways, both of which de-fine reality in dramatic fashion. In the Copenhagen interpretation we say thedecaying atom is in a wave-like state and so is not real, it is just probability,meaning that it has neither decayed nor remained stable until we open the doorof the box. But what about the experience of the cat inside the box? If the atomsomehow isn’t real when wave-like, then the cat isn’t real either, it’s neither deadnor alive. But is this idea acceptable? It is one thing to imagine a particle isn’treal if a human being isn’t observing it, and another to imagine a cat needs to beobserved. Believe it or not, there are some who egocentrically claim that only humanscan create reality. The Copenhagen interpretation led one physicist to remarkthat the moon doesn’t exist when no one is looking at it. Of course if someoneis arrogant enough to claim that the cat’s observations arent independently real,the next hypothetical step would be to place that person in the box and start theexperiment over. In the Many-Worlds version of Schrödinger’s cat we dont try to avoid theidea that beyond our vision two realities exist simultaneously, so we say theparticle has decayed in one reality, and remained stable in the other reality, andtwo superimposed conflicting realities exist. But neither reality is yet connectedin a definite way to an observer standing outside the box. Instead the experimenthas created two cats, one is dead and one is alive. Then when we open the boxto observe the dead or alive cat we collapse the wave and connect ourselves toone of the two realities. Note however something that is really strange here. Theoutside world as we open the door to observe the cat, and so we ourselves, splitinto two principle realities. In one we exist observing the cat alive and in another
  • 138. 124 | EVERYTHING FOREVERwe exist observing the cat as dead. What this means is that we split into twodifferent realities in the future because behind the door there are two differentpasts. Quantum mechanics doesn’t merely reveal that time is branching away fromthe present. It reveals that the past is often just as indeterminate as the future.As physicist Thomas Hertog states, “Quantum mechanics forbids a singlehistory”. This brings the infinite so much closer than even an imaginative personis comfortable with. What is perhaps the most startling consequence of discov-ering quantum mechanics, is realizing that everything beyond our observationsexists in a state of multiplicity. When we imagine the future we usually see it as potential. Some people statethat anything can happen although we don’t expect much of anything willhappen, we expect the ordinary, but we at least imagine that the varied possibili-ties of the future grow greater with a greater period of time. What might happentomorrow is rather limited compared to what all might happen in a year or adecade. But we think the infinite possibilities are out there in the future. As itturns out, the past is also probabilistic. Quantum mechanics suggests that any-thing we haven’t yet observed, everything happening in another state or country,everything happening a mile away, literally everything in the world beyond ourfive senses, is in a quantum state of multiplicity. The infinite isn’t out there inthe distant future. It is just on the other side of any door. It is just beyond ourvision, our hearing, our touch, our smell. It is everything we don’t know. If wehaven’t yet read the news of the day, all the possible newsworthy events arehappening simultaneously in alternative universes waiting for us to turn eachpage of the newspaper, and only then do we connect with one of those worlds. Figure 10.3: Only that which has directly defined our present experience is finite. The rest of the universe, even the past, is undetermined and wavelike. All possible pasts and futures shown here would agree with the observed past. If this second transformation for some reason temporarily went awry, wemight suddenly find ourselves experiencing more than one finite world. Wewould sense ourselves moving in every possible direction. Our arms would raiseand lower, our legs would move one way and the other. In the next few mo-
  • 139. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 125ments we would inevitably sit up, stand up, lay down, and stretch from head totoe. The transparency of space would transform into a scenery of other worlds.In one branch of time we would turn on the television and simultaneously viewevery possible event that a news station could report. Our experiences wouldgradually blur into a synthesis of all possible events, with each path only slightlydifferent than the next possibility. Ultimately, in this mode of hyper perception,if we looked into the deep past we could observe the entire infinite family ofmany-worlds all forming from the big bang event. We would see all paths oftime originating from the Alpha state, from one single location in the wholerealm of possibilities. And as our vision grew into the future we would see all thepaths of time moving ever nearer toward the same destination, toward absolutezero, with every universe finally ending at Omega. So if the Universe is infinite but restricted to the Many-Worlds scenario,what exactly is impossible? If the same laws of physics hold true everywhere inexistence, we can rule out the possibility of humans evolving on a planet toonear the sun, and rule out life as we know it having evolved on a planet the sizeof Jupiter. There is an interdependence between everything that exists in time.The form of any living being is dictated by its environment, however, if there isany real opportunity for life to exist in some particular environment, in the sandsof Mars, in the ice fields of Europa, then life does in fact exist there, at least in aparallel world. There is certainly a version of the Earth where dinosaurs werenot made extinct, and likely there are worlds where dinosaurs have evolved tobecome as intelligent as humans on a planet identical to our own. In fact theseparallel worlds probably do exist just beyond the surface of this world. Some scientists shrug at the Many-Worlds Theory and continue to believethere is something that makes quantum reality operate only at the subatomiclevel, and not at a macrocosmic level where we live. But the technologicalapplications of quantum mechanics to chemistry and electronics have alreadyhad a tremendous impact upon society. In addition to television shows andmovies where characters cross over into parallel universes, physicists are work-ing toward a complete quantum description of reality. If a complete theory isever accomplished, it will explain why certain things are possible while others areless so, and it will tell us what is impossible. Presently, the Many-Worlds Theorydoes not claim that other worlds with different laws and forces of nature cannotexist, but if the probabilities of quantum mechanics were found to be basic tonature then we would reasonably conclude the same laws govern all of existence.
  • 140. 126 | EVERYTHING FOREVERIs the apparent irreversibility of all known naturalprocesses consistent with the idea that all naturalevents are possible without restriction?Ludwig BoltzmannScenario Two:The Multiverse Forty Thieves: © Paul DeCelle What then if our laws of physics do not hold true in other regions of spaceand time? Would this mean that infinity is an incomprehensible chaos? One ofthe more radical views considered in science is that nature somehow explores allpossible sets of laws and constants, creating universes that are entirely unlike ourown, worlds for example which we could not visit, because our physical bodiescould not exist within a different configuration of reality. The construction ofthese individual universes might span from infinitely heightened complexity, andorderliness to opposite extremes of randomness and chaos. In the multiverse allsuch worlds begin as our own did with a big bang, but shortly after time beginseach temporal path spawns its own unique governing reality. We can refer toscenario two as the multiverse, where the big bang produces not merely otherworlds, but many different cosmological systems. Some scientists believe the dense heat of the bang may spawn universes like afish laying eggs, each with a unique genetic code. And the uncertainty of quan-tum mechanics may be the key to what allows such universes to exist. Uncer-tainty during the big bang event might allow each bubble of space-time to writeits own future, by arbitrarily developing unique constants, by setting uniquemagnitudes to the forces of nature, which for example cause space to expand atdifferent rates. The odd surprise is that this scenario might be an explanation for why ouruniverse is so finely tuned for the existence of life. One of the greater mysteriesconcerning the known universe is that certain constants appear to be finelytuned for the creation of complex systems, which have led specifically to intelli-gent life. The stability of atoms in the myriad of forms we find in the periodictable of elements, as well as the formation of stars and galaxies, all obviouslyhave led to the existence of the Earth. Some scientists acknowledge openly thatthis fine tuning may very well be sound evidence for intelligent design.
  • 141. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 127 Fig 10.4: A tiny sampling of other imaginable universes. I cannot help mentioning here that in later chapters we shall explore an ideathat is not entirely dissimilar from intelligent design. The idea is that the orderedwholeness itself, the ultimate product of existence, shapes the evolving universein a way to bring about itself. This would be described as backward causality,since the whole exists in our future. With that possibility noted, we must alsoconsider the opposite possibility to explain fine tuning, especially due to howshockingly reasonable the explanation appears. There is a theory of sorts called the anthropic principle which explains thatwe would only exist within a universe that contains properties compatible withthe existence of life. An extension of the anthropic principle which we might callthe totality principle argues that the existence of other dimensions with differentlaws of nature can explain why our universe is seemingly designed for the pres-ence of life. The idea is that we find ourselves in this particular cosmos becauseamong all the sets of laws and forces in other universes that actually exist, this isnecessarily the one particular universe we would find ourselves in. Obviously, ifall worlds exist, then we would find ourselves in one of those worlds and thenask questions about why the universe happens to be this particular way. Inexperiencing this one world it seems to us to be so extraordinary and finelytuned that it must have been intelligently designed, but the fact that we live in aworld of blue skies and cherry sundaes might be because the extreme chaos ofall other alternative universes also exist. So the world we know might be sensible because there exists both sensibleand insensible, and we are just temporarily fortunate to be living in the betterpart, since life would not come to be elsewhere. One reason scientists andphilosophers sometimes resort to the idea that all possible universes exist isbecause in science today causality appears to break down at the quantum level.The governing of events is somehow non-local, meaning that the underlyingphysics influencing events isnt a product of ordinary objects. If the totality
  • 142. 128 | EVERYTHING FOREVERprinciple is the reason for non-locality then there may not be an answer to whyour world is this way. This way may not be anything special. On the other hand,the more preferable hand, all the constants and laws of nature may have a deeppurpose that we havent yet been witness to. It is inevitable that intelligent beings would experience a universe oddly har-monious to the existence of life because such qualities would naturally exist inany world in which there were such speculations by living organisms. TheAnthropic Principle exploits this fact with a rather futile side note. The ratherbrutal consequence of an overall chaos is that no ultimate explanation of why auniverse has a particular architecture is needed, or even possible, since eachworld is an arbitrary set of variable laws and forces. If this version of reality weretrue of nature, we might only hope to discover an accurate description or sche-matic of our particular governing system, what scientists call a unified theory,but that theory wouldn’t provide any insight into “why” the cosmos is this way.The features of any particular universe would be randomly determined andwithout specific cause, since none would portray the universal governing dynam-ics of the greater Universe of all universes. On a lighter note, we can tone down the totality principle and use it morespecifically from within a many-worlds description of reality. The general rea-soning of the totality principle is fun to play with as an explanation of why eachof us exists in the moment that we do, as the one person we are. It even explainswhy we exist at this particular time in history. If there exists an infinity of otherpeople living on Earth-like planets, in all other times, then the only reason weare each ourselves, is because if we were somewhere else in time, or somebodyelse, then that is who we would be, there wondering the same question, “why amI this person?” If we were somewhere else being anyone else, then that is whowe would be, but the person we are now would also be. So, if not for the exis-tence of you, existence would be awkwardly missing someone among the infinityof people that fill the whole of all possible people.
  • 143. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 129Nowhere exists an obstacle to the infinitenumber of worlds.Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) ~Row, Row Row your boatgently down the stream,Merrily, merrily merrily merrily,life is but a dream.Scenario Three:Many Realms Fractal Art: © Doug Harrington Contrary to popular belief, there is not any accepted theory in science as towhat caused the big bang. The standard big bang model does not include adescription of a creation event and merely recognizes the obvious implicationsof observations showing that the galaxies on the largest observable scale areflying away from one another due to the internal expansion of space betweenthem. How a universe can begin is a paradoxical mystery rarely explored inscience, and although there are sub-theories of the big bang, such as vacuumgenesis, the only issue which there is any agreement on is that the early universewas once in a very dense state. In timelessness, it is possible for the origin oftime to simply begin from a dense state, since time in this case is somewhat likea string passing through the pages of a book. The reason why our scenarios sofar have only included worlds and universes that are born from the big bangevent is only because we all see that event as the only known natural process bywhich time might begin and so exist. In this third version of what the infinite universe might be like, we have towork hard to open up the gates of our imagination. Now we abandon the rule,and our assumptions, that a universe must originate from a big bang like event,and freely entertain the more radical possibilities of how other universes mightbe created and constructed. Perhaps there are multiple causes for why the sameuniverse exists, or multiple causes that create many different universes. Main-stream science fiction has often explored the idea of universes with differentrules. There might be universes where the inhabitants detect space is contractingrather than expanding, so that scientists in such a world conclude that galaxiesoriginated from empty space, and thus they determine gravity, a force strongerthan expansion, creates energy and matter out of curvatures in what in their pastwas a flat empty space (just try explaining to these alien beings that somethingcannot be created from nothing). Perhaps there are Euclidean worlds wheretime is absolute and space is truly empty and independent of objects, as Newtonsurmised incorrectly of our universe.
  • 144. 130 | EVERYTHING FOREVER We can imagine a universe filled with fluids, or tiny strands of string tyingobjects together, or even a universe where celestial objects are square shapedand not rounded. None of these universes seem to be worlds we could physi-cally exist within, even though we can somewhat relate to their properties imagi-natively. But the greater test of our imagination is portraying universes whichhave utterly no resemblance to the properties of our own. There might be non-physical universes, or worlds without light or heat. There might be compara-tively illogical worlds totally incomprehensible and unrelated to us. In suchuniverses, not only would we be unable to exist physically, but we also would beunable to think or function conceptually. If there are other such realms, thenwhat is mentally logical to one realm is completely chaotic and senseless inanother. Fig 10.5: With this graphic Physicist Max Tegmark contem- plates other worlds with different space and time dimensions. copyright © Max Tegmark One of the newer ideas on how this scenario might be possible was sug-gested by the physicist Max Tegmark, who made the proposal that each universemight be fundamentally reliant on a unique mathematical system. Tegmarkadmits, just how many other mathematical systems might exist is a difficultquestion to answer, but the suggestion also offers a possible solution to whynature might hold to a particular set of laws, that being if each physical reality isfundamentally reliant on a mathematical system. Further still is to hypothesizethat concepts themselves, might supply the framework that produces universes.Each logical system of comprehensibility might be self contained. In otherwords, systems of ideas might create various realities. If indeed the observer plays a role in creating reality, and if the past remainsin a wave-like state until it is observed and becomes a factual part of the historyof the observer, then it may be consciousness creates reality as a means ofexplaining itself. Presently, we really don’t have any reason to assume the worldwe investigate, with its big bang past, is the only reality that can emerge from thequantum sea of possibilities. There may be a host of possible explanations forconsciousness. Most would naturally be extraordinarily complex. As the Merriam
  • 145. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 131Webster Dictionary now defines the weak anthropic principle, “conditions that areobserved in the universe must allow the observer to exist”. Still it may be thatonly one set of many possible conditions is chosen and explored by someinvestigating consciousness. In principle, only memory would hold intact eachexplanation, for some period of time until the observer’s memory degrades insome way, forgets or dies, and thus loses all record of the particular explanationit was exploring. The same primal consciousness would then move dreamlikeinto a new system of explanation, seeming to wake up to its own existence in aparticular reality. Similar ideas are explored in Fred Alan Wolf’s The DreamingUniverse, in which Wolf suggests that synchronicity, telepathy, out-of-bodyexperiences, and near death experiences, are indications that the universe itself isdreaming. Why this of all dreams?
  • 146. 132 | EVERYTHING FOREVERI believe in an open mind, but not so open thatyour brains fall out.Arthur Hays SulzbergerScenario Four:Absolute Chaos Demolition Man © Paul DeCelle Why the extended anthropic principle restricts itself to an even more radicalextreme is probably related to its development and use by scientists, but there isan even greater version of an infinitude that would encompass not only everypossible scenario of cosmological properties, but even realms that lay outside thebounds of what most scientists are willing to entertain as possible. The totalityprinciple usually supposes the existence of ordered or chaotic worlds and stopsshort of considering imaginary realms, such as worlds where magical and inex-plicable events regularly occur. When confronted with the idea of other realities, kids are quick to imagineworlds where weird creatures resembling monsters can appear out of nowhere.In this imagination gone wild fourth scenario, fantasies, fairy tales, and night-mares are all part of reality. Reality is founded on conceivability alone so all ourrational boundaries and our intellectual expectations are stampeded over by aparade of silliness. I imagine this model of the infinite as the artists view ofreality, reality as defined by the right brain not the left, where existence is asequally free to create, as our minds are to imagine. For some reason, maybe it is because I loved to watch cartoons when I wasyoung, I initially imagine this world primarily as an interaction of cartoon charac-ters with the real world. Such visions have been explored wonderfully by moviemakers in Hollywood, my favorite being the movie Roger Rabbit, where thebarrier between the cartoon world and the real world, the world of solids, beginsto break down. Could such fantasy worlds exist with some measure of beingphysically real as we define it? Certainly the ideas of such worlds do exist, that is,assuming that ideas exist before we think with them, and exist independent ofour thoughts. Isn’t it ideas that ultimately define reality? The question hereappears to be, what is physical reality? It may be that every story book tale we read as kids, Hansel and Gretel, TheThree Bears, even Snow White and the seven dwarfs, is a true story. There isreally a Santa Claus somewhere. Bugs Bunny is just as alive as we are, and up tohis tricks, because physical reality may not be what we imagine it to be. Ideas,
  • 147. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 133stories, dreams, may be what actually define reality. Our world may be a compli-cated dream among less rigid and fantastical dreams. At first this artistic version of the infinite might feel freshly uninhibited andentertaining, compared to all those left brain scenarios we hear about, but in factit should produce a mild sense of fear. The unfortunate consequence of theartists version of the infinite is that crossing that border of allowing everythingimaginary to be real doesn’t stop with the fun cartoons, it also includes thehorrifying and the chaotic as well. It would ultimately mean that an absolute anduncontrolled chaos reigns supreme. All the boundaries of normality and cohe-siveness would eventually break down somewhere, creating an ultimate chaos ofbroken events. There would be no governing dynamics, no classical physics, noreliance on mathematical systems or natural laws. All our trusted consistencieswould just be temporary. Perhaps paradoxically, we can logically conclude that this scenario cannotrepresent the ultimate frame of reality. Once everything imaginable is real youhave worlds which violate cause and effect and conservation of energy laws, andthe natural laws which currently govern our own universe would be highlyunstable, which we know to be otherwise. The reason for this instability is thatthe measure of irregular worlds where the laws of nature suddenly break downand allow imaginary events to occur, would far outweigh worlds that maintainthemselves. So the chance of experiencing the one universe that remains sensibleand systematic throughout its history would be miniscule. If the greater universewas indeed so unruly, the chance of us experiencing a universe where our sur-roundings at any instant decay into chaos would be virtually inevitable, far morelikely to occur at every turn than the experience of the consistent universe wepresently share. A simple analogy is a movie film. There is one series of frameswhere a movie film is shown correctly, where the pictures make sense and tell astory, versus a myriad of other cases where the frames could be shown com-pletely out of order, or the pixels of each frame can be mixed up, in which casethe movie has no discernable meaning. If we place the partition between what is physically real and what isn’t, toofar away from the world that we know, then our chances of experiencing auniverse that remains consistent and cohesive decreases dramatically. In two ofEinstein’s more famous comments he indicates his opinion that the same lawsof nature apply everywhere. Indeed, simply due to the fact that this consistencyis what we experience, it would seem possible that the whole of reality is univer-sally governed in a similar fashion. What actually exists outward and inward could perhaps be less than every-thing that can be loosely imagined. The imagination can easily create a lot ofother worlds in fantasy. But this does not mean such worlds really exist, even ifthe universe is infinite. There may be limitations. There may be a distinctionbetween what is possible and actual. Or, there may not be any distinction at all.
  • 148. 134 | EVERYTHING FOREVERIt seems that we have no way of knowing, when in fact there is one way wemight know. If we discover clearly that our own universe is an elementaryexample of what exists, and we discover that what is ultimately possible is bynature restricted in some way to universes like our own. Then we would knowwith considerable certainty the nature of the infinite whole. Again, it is easy to explain ways in which the universe could be infinite, thedifficult challenge is to discover why part of what is conceivable exists while somuch that can be imagined never made it to the big party. What limits existenceand why do limits exist? An answer would set apart the improbable and theimpossible. Discovering such boundaries is where the potential exists for ex-plaining the why of our particular worlds construction and its place within thegreater scheme of nature.Onward to the Timeless Domain What all of the scenarios discussed so far share is the passage of time. Ineach scenario we have explored, all the while we have actually been asking: whatdoes an infinite universe consist of should all of a certain group of conceivabletime-worlds exist? However, could we be making a mistake in simply assumingthat physical reality is ultimately described by time? What if the greater infiniteuniverse isn’t ruled by time at all? What if time is an illusion? What if time is asecondary feature of the universe, like color? We are all so overwhelmed by our experience of change that we usually as-sume existence innately changes in time, and yet we always portray time as asequence of still frames, such as a movie film or television show. We alwaysbreak time up into still moments. No one has yet devised a method of portray-ing time as we assume time to be, as a linear unbroken progression of events.On one hand we assume things can only exist in time, as if time is necessary. Onthe other hand, when we use the word “timeless” we aren’t using that word tosuggest a non-existence, rather we are imagining things, perhaps basic forms orideas, can exist without time. As you have read each individual page until reaching this page, you have beensurrounded by a space in which matter existed in one particular pattern, untilreaching this place of space in time; or this single pattern, then another, thenanother. As you read the previous pages, in each scenario we have imagined timeto be basic to existence, but now we are almost ready to begin to explore a verydifferent answer to the question, infinity means what? We are about to begin seeingthe world from outside of time. We have only one quick stop to make. There isstill one scenario that we have to consider. Is infinity perfection?
  • 149. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 135Beauty, Goodness, and Truth, whereverthey occur, are certainly clues; but theyseem to be like cameras focused “to infin-ity” – we cannot tell how far and how greatis the Reality to which they are pointing.John Betram PhillipsScenario Five:Perfection Fractal © Doug Harrington At the base of most world religions we find the idea of a perfect God usuallydescribed as infinitely knowing, infinitely powerful, infinitely just, and of courseeternal. The very strength of religion may result simply of the conceptual exis-tence of the ideal itself. Certainly the majority of people regardless of religiousinfluence at least vaguely recognize a direction toward improvement and good-ness, even beyond what is instilled in them by their parents during childhood.The absolute extreme of intelligence, skill, power, imagination, awareness, andvirtue can be imagined or discussed by anyone. Simply in recognition of theideal, there exists within us a strangely deep-rooted sense of a direction or roadto perfection. Why do we have this strange appreciation for the perfect? I think it seems tobe due either to a calculative or an intuitive sense of reality, not the everydayreality we experience, but rather our sense of the really big picture. Out theresomewhere is either a path toward or the reality of perfection. In science we finda similar but more practical application of perfection in the notion of order.Scientists focus on physical order by studying and attempting to explain theuniverse, which is in a sense a degree of perfection rather than the imperfectionof disorder and chaos. The evolution of time is widely considered to be anevolution of order, an order that is decreasing due to the breaking of past sym-metry, which originally might have been a perfect symmetry. The quest to findthat perfect state of order, where exactly it can be found, or whether any suchstate exists at all, is as much a controversy in science as the more general publiccontroversy over the existence of God. In those who are not so science minded, the notion of perfect order is stillimportant, it simply isn’t seen as limited to any physical state of the cosmos.Conservative scientists rarely appreciate this fact, probably because this deeperappreciation of order and perfection rivals the materialistic order of science. Themainstream ideal is a “perfect everything”. God for example is thought perfectin every way. Or at least that is true of the common ideal. The religious transla-
  • 150. 136 | EVERYTHING FOREVERtion of the ideal; how various religious groups specifically define God, is diverse,with each group believing their version of God is more perfect than others. The only part of all this that we humans seem to find agreement on is theideal itself. Perfection is out there somewhere. I honestly think this is why thereis a common and universal sense of moral order. Even atheists have moralstandards relative to their own sense of right and wrong. And if we are ever togain any sense of what an infinite level of perfection is like, it is from that collec-tive that we must build, but of course the assembly is a difficult process and theideal of perfection changes as we grow older, just as it has changed considerablyas humanity has evolved through the centuries. George Fisher once said “When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s amoving target” and taking this a step further the author George Orwell wrote,“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” Manypeople find it better to let go of the perfect ideal and just try to be themselves.We have all heard warnings about trying to be perfect. And there is of course theextreme of simply rejecting the ideal of infinite perfection altogether. For exam-ple, perfect symmetry can be seen as an “empty” space, and empty space can beseen as nonexistence. Infinity can be seen as chaos, or the physical universe canbe seen as purely finite, and finally, reality can be seen as godless or spirituallysterile. The reward of such beliefs is a considerable relief from one’s own unreal-istic expectations of being perfect. In a little book Your God is too small, thebiblical scholar J. B. Phillips writes: Of all the false gods there is probably no greater nuisance in the spiritual world than the “god of one hundred per cent.” For He is plausible. It can so easily be argued that since God is Perfection, and since He asks for the complete loyalty of His creatures, then the best way of serving, pleasing and worshipping Him is to set up absolute one-hundred-per-cent standards and see to it that we obey them. Af- ter all, did not Christ say, “Be ye perfect”? This one-hundred-per-cent standard is a real menace to Christians of various schools of thought, and has led quite a number of sensitive, conscientious people to what is popularly called a “nervous breakdown…If we believe in God, we must naturally believe that He is Perfection. But we must not think, to speak colloquially, that He cannot therefore be inter- ested in anything less than perfection.” In considering perfection initially there seems to be an axis along which thereare two directions, one where we strive to be perfect and consequently liveuncomfortably with our own and others imperfections, and another where we insome way reject or ignore the ideal of perfection and so we arguably live with aless directional moral compass. It is somewhat like seeing the glass half full orhalf empty. The great question is simply whether anything perfect or even near-so existsto guide the compass. If there were some hope of proof, then even the presently
  • 151. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 137skeptical would be more likely to partake in exploring the philosophical implica-tions of a perfect level or form of being. We certainly know this one universe exists. It extends outward in every direc-tion. And we know the other possible universes of quantum theory should existas real as our observed world. If so and all of those many worlds are enfoldedinto our own space, then space itself, especially a perfectly symmetrical spacesuch as Omega, would qualify as perfection. If the universe is infinite then does the actualization of that infinity ultimatelycreate absolute perfection? It is a profound consideration but the ideal of whatwe are talking about is real. And there is nothing unscientific about it. Existencealone may create a godly perfection. If literally all possibilities exist, then perfec-tion would at least be part of existence, for it is one of the possibilities if not thewhole of possibilities. In regards to trying to be perfect, I think Joseph Addison said it best inpointing out that “It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect.The more perfect we are the more gentle and quiet we become toward thedefects of others.” And one step further might be to say that being perfectinvolves all at once appreciating and being our imperfect sides.
  • 152. 138 | EVERYTHING FOREVEROur minds are often permeated by memories of the past or worries about thefuture. What gets missed is the present ~ and right there in the moment is thedoorway into timelessness.Ram Das ~~~What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and varia-tions in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances). ...The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subjectand object are only one.Erwin Schrödinger Fractal Art: Ice World © Kerry MitchellBy convention, the arrow of time points toward the future. This does not imply,however, that the arrow is moving toward the future, any more than a compassneedle pointing north indicates that the compass is traveling north. Both arrowssymbolize an asymmetry, not a movement. The arrow of time denotes an asym-metry of the world in time, not an asymmetry or flux of time. The labels “past”and “future” may legitimately be applied to temporal directions, just as “up” and“down” may be applied to spatial directions, but talk of the past or the future is asmeaningless as referring to the up or the down.Paul Davies ~~~It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite thecontrary, time is an abstraction, at which we arrive by means of the changes ofthings.Ernest Mach ~~~There is always another way to say the same thing that doesnt look at all like theway you said it before. I dont know what the reason for this is. I think it issomehow a representation of the simplicity of nature.Richard Feynman
  • 153. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 139Just as we envision all of space as really being out there, as really existing, weshould also envision all of time as really being out there, as really existing too.Brian GreeneThe Elegant UniverseChapter ElevenTime is a Direction in SpaceThe Many Spaces Scenario It is not hard to imagine that all the moments of one’s life between birth anddeath could conceivably be imprinted on the eternal fabric of reality, like a storywithin a book. And so regardless of the freedom the path of our lives may seemto enjoy, the whole of opportunities, and every possible experience, has alreadyhappened. Every breath, every observation, every feeling, are all occurringsimultaneously. Does this mean that time as we experience it is an illusion? Inone response to that question, Paul Davies in the Scientific American article TheMysterious Flow of Time wrote, “Most physicists would put it less dramatically: thatthe flow of time is unreal but that time itself is as real as space.” Indeed, time and space and form are real enough. Rather than say that time isan illusion, it is better to accurately define the meaning of time, and so realizethat our ordinary sense of time is not caused by existence itself changing orevolving. Time is instead a collection of patterns, a connected series of manyindividual places or spaces which don’t miraculously come to be and then just asquickly cease to exist. Time is very much like a series of photographs or theframes of a movie film. Time is many three dimensional spaces which whenfused create a more complex kind of space, a four dimensional space, which wecall time. This slightly more complicated form of space is as real as all the moresimple directions in three dimensions such as height, width, and depth.
  • 154. 140 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Everywhere you go, there you are. It is rather easy to imagine how each mo-ment is just a different place in timelessness. And it is no coincidence that thebest method of portraying ordinary clock time is to use a series of photographs.In a series of pictures a person walking across a courtyard is easily recognized asmoving through both space and time. In each frame we can see how the con-figuration has changed, which indicates the passage of time. Yet as the person pauses at the center of the crossing to wait for a friend hisposition in three dimensional space is no longer changing. Standing still at thecenter of the courtyard a person is only moving through time. We can portraythis odd type of motion, the movement through time only, with many successiveidentical photographs. Although the position of the person is now stationary and so each photo-graph is identical to the next, we assume the lateral surroundings of this personare continuing to change. Other objects in the universe must change position inrelation to the center of the square. The sun changes its position in the sky. Thegears of a clock on a building are moving. The person who is being waited for ismoving through traffic. These changes are what allow us to draw a distinctionbetween each time frame and the next, because if the person were truly motion-less, only lateral changes in the surrounding environment could define each
  • 155. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 141photo as a different position in time. Only change gives meaning to the passageof time. Changing time has two fundamental ingredients. First there must exist a lin-ear string-like path through the landscape of possible moments, as opposed tolets say a single point or place. For a movie to accurately portray time it must bemore than a broken sequence of unrelated patterns. Time, like any story in book,must include a binding which cohesively connects together the simultaneouslyexisting moments. We might call this requirement Linear Time. We might envi-sion linear time much like we envision a single direction in space passing frompoint A to B, except this path does not just travel through one block of space, itpasses from one block of space to another block of space. Figure 11.3: Time is a special direction in space that travels through many three dimensional block-like spaces, portrayed here as two dimensional sheets. Second and simultaneously, our story must include a series of distinct andunique patterns or conditions along that linear pathway. There must be a linkbetween patterns but there must also be distinct differences in each pattern frompoint A to B, lateral to the linear direction of the story. The positions of objectsmust change in order for there to be measurable time. This means that eachmoment of time must possess a separate identity apart from other patterns alongthe linear time path. This is a very basic necessity for our experience of time, asit makes each moment of time feel physically real and distinct. The distinction ofeach moment is required in order to make us feel as if we exist only in an evolv-ing present. This difference between each pattern and the next may be immeas-urably small, perhaps infinitesimal, but without the distinction of each momentthere would be no sense of change. Otherwise we would only exist across time,as if in one single moment, without past or future. There would not then be theillusions of time as a duration of existence. We might call this necessity LateralTime, and imagine each static pattern to be like a solid block-like field of space. In defining these two components of time we haven’t derived some pro-found scientific or philosophical statement. We are just noticing something verysimple. At any given tick of the clock the world is in a particular condition orstate. Such is one ingredient of time. The second ingredient is the linking to-gether of many states physically, a linear binding of some kind that cohesively
  • 156. 142 | EVERYTHING FOREVERfuses a particular group of possible states together. But these two componentsexposed, now we can reevaluate how we envision time. In the usual way of looking at time, we imagine that the individual states thatconstruct the linear progression of time suddenly manifest, existing only for aninfinitesimally small instant, and then as quickly as they came to be, they disap-pear from existence. In another way of looking at time, we imagine that eachmoment of time exists independent of our sense of time and change. For exam-ple, each block-like moment of the past continues to exist even though we senseour experience has left those particular patterns. Obviously the later seems the more simple explanation, as it does not requireany process of becoming or unbecoming, which is perhaps the most inexplicableaspect of time as we typically imagine it. If instead each moment of time preex-ists then the world does not become real in time. The past and future already arereal. The world of change that we experience overlays the preexisting momentsof a timeless world. If indeed time is space then it isn’t merely that we experi-ence the moment, and we experience change, it is that we are the moment andwe are change. The inseparability of our experience from change is clearly visiblewhen we notice how little time we spend in each moment.Many Spaces add up to Zero Time Meaning to be humorous, George Carlin once said “Theres no present.Theres only the immediate future and the recent past.” The statement is funnybecause it is insightfully true, or at least partly true. The single present that weimagine to be all that exists is very fleeting. Logically it seems to be an infinitelysmall region between past and future. Our experience is really of the recent pastand immediate future. The reason we think we only exist in an evolving present is first due to theway we are defined by the independent reality of each moment, but also becausewe are defined by many of those moments without spending time in any one ofthem. Most people’s first inclination is that time is built up from tiny durationsspent in each moment, but we actually don’t spend any measurable time in oneparticular moment, even though we exist in each moment endlessly. The personwalking in the courtyard cannot measure the time spent within each moment.Each moment is a static pattern. In order for a person to measure and experi-ence time, their internal chemistry, the physical universe surrounding theirconsciousness, must change in some way. If everything in motion stops, so alsodoes our sense of time. Simply imagine how much time passes inside a movie when it is placed onpause. If we advance from one frame to the next, the hand of a clock can be in anew position, but how much time did the first frame contribute to the timewithin the movie? How much time does the second frame contribute? Obvi-
  • 157. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 143ously the time spent in each frame does not create clock time, only physicalchange, or the differences in each frame, create clock time. Clock time is change. Objectively we can imagine the universe getting stuck momentarily like abarge in a river, so that the present exists in a frozen state for five minutes orforever, so one aspect of what we define as time would be occurring without theother, yet we would not be able to experience any duration of time in that frozenpattern. All clocks would be stopped. All the physical and mental processes thatproduce our experiences would cease. Trapped, a person would measure thelength of time to be zero, as measured by a clock. We could exist there in be-tween moments for an eternity but the duration of clock time would still add upto zero. It is only when we leap from that moment to the next that the clockmoves, and the mind awakens to change, and that is fundamentally what clocktime is, a secondary process, a change in perspective. We exist in a series ofnows which always add up to the zero time of timelessness.The Speed Limit of Time All motion in our real cosmos causes time dilation. Einstein’s relativity theoryexplains that time slows for whomever or whatever is in motion relative to therest of the cosmos, even though the person in motion experiences time nor-mally. The time dilation of ordinary motion is so insignificant that we nevernotice it at the speeds we travel in cars to work and back, but suppose in thefuture your new job is located on Mars, which at the time is about 150 millionmiles away. No worries, because you’ve calculated that your new fancy redspaceship in first gear, at 90 percent the speed of light, will travel the distance toMars in about fifteen minutes. Of course you don’t want to be late on your firstday. Work starts at 9 a.m. so you hop in your spaceship at 8:30 a.m. and zoomoff to the interplanetary highway, but when you arrive on Mars you’re surprisedto find that you’re late on your first day of work. It feels like it has only beenfifteen minutes, and the clock on the space-ship verifies that it is 8:45, but all theclocks on Mars say it’s 9:05 a.m., and your angry boss says “hey you’re late forwork”. You can’t make sense of it (due to time dilation the clocks on the Earthand Mars were moving 2.3 times faster than your clocks in the spaceship) butyou think maybe the clock on your spaceship is malfunctioning. Of course the next day you don’t want to be late again. Somehow the triptook thirty five minutes, not fifteen minutes, so this time you decide to leave at7:30 a.m. and also decide to shift your spaceship into second gear and travel99% the speed of light to Mars, even though your mechanic told you this usesten times more fuel than first gear. But you can’t be late again. The trip goes fast,and you carefully watch the clock this time, and in just under fifteen minutes youland and confidently board the Mars landing station, but you’re astonished tofind that once again instead of being early you’re fifteen minutes late for work.The boss really chews you out this time, and you’re really confused (time on the
  • 158. 144 | EVERYTHING FOREVEREarth and Mars passed 7 times faster than your time in the spaceship) but youswear to the boss that you won’t be late again. When you get home your spouse just cannot believe you were late twice, butthe mechanic said there was nothing wrong with the clock or the engines of thespaceship, so the next day just to be safe you decide to leave at 4 a.m. and decidethis time to shift the spaceship into third gear, and travel 99.9% the speed oflight, even though the mechanic has warned that you will again need 10 timesmore fuel than the day before just to accelerate the ship to a speed so near thatof light. You just can’t be late again. So you make the trip glancing at the newwristwatch your spouse bought you and after counting every minute you land ina little over fourteen minutes time. You plan to get coffee and a nice breakfastbefore work, and confidently you exit your spaceship with your body telling youit’s still early morning, but you also glance a little nervously at the clock on Mars.In shock you stop standing there dumbfounded, staring at the time. The clockreads 10:05 a.m. At first you think it’s a trick but eventually you realize thatsomehow, in the fourteen minutes it took you to fly to Mars, over five hours haspassed. You’re at a complete loss, how could this be happening, it feels like abad dream (time on the Earth and Mars passed 22 times faster than your time inthe spaceship), oh and by the way your boss says you’re fired. You may have lost your job, but it could be worse. If your job was located atthe epsilon outpost in deep space and you had traveled 99.999% of light speedfor one year to get there, you would find that 223 years had passed on Earth andMars and the outpost, while only one year passed for you in your spaceship.Everyone you knew in your past life would have passed away, with the averagelifespan being 190 as it will be, or as it was or, as it is then. Faster still, at99.999999% the speed the light, nineteen years will pass for each day you spendso near lightspeed. One year at such speeds will make you 7000 years old. Ofcourse the time difference isn’t merely in reference to the Earth, the motioncreated by the spaceship is causing the time of the entire surrounding universeto accelerate, even though time within the spaceship seems normal. Notice inversely that your clock time is slowing down more and more com-pared to the rest of the universe, and is actually approaching an extreme wherethe time of your clock would stop altogether at light speed. We might imaginethis as if motion is using up the time we experience, as if time only allows somuch motion, and so time is sort of a fuel that is drained by motion. Thatmeasure of possible motion is usually invested in the motions of your bodiesatoms, but when we travel near to the speeds at which light and atoms moveabout, then we are stealing motion and so clock time away from the atoms, sothey cannot move, which is why anything traveling near light speed is partiallyfrozen in time. Particles traveling at light speed, such as photons, and even thegalaxies beyond the event horizon, are literally in the stasis of timelessness.
  • 159. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 145The Holographic Space Movie It is known today in science that the time that we measure with clocks hascertain characteristics, many of which were unexpected, such as the speed oflight, and time dilation. Time as a series of many spaces can be shown to createthese odd characteristics. To explain we are going to imagine a very detailedholographic movie controlled by a very creative computer. This movie is like anyother, except this one isnt made from two dimensional frames shown on ascreen, rather it is made up of three dimensional spaces. Each space is a holo-graphic pattern, part of a large library of holographic patterns stored in thecomputer. The movie will be a specially selected sequence of spaces, selected bythe computer, which will allow us to interact with the hologram. So we now turnon the projector and suddenly a holographic person in the movie says "hello,how are you". Surprised, we say “hello” in return, and we begin to talk to thisanimated person, who seems so real and conscious of his surroundings that wedecide to ask him about his experience of time. He tells us that time flows smoothly, that the past disappears, and he says thefuture isnt real. He says, "The future is only potential and doesnt yet exist". Heis convinced that only what exists as we speak is real. We jokingly decide to playsome mind games with him and we increase the viewing speed of the movie byone notch on the dial, which speeds up his rate of time at what appears to bedouble speed. Suddenly our new friend walks faster, and the clock standing inhis courtyard is visibly moving faster. And so we question him again. “So what isyour time like now?” we ask smilingly. But to our surprise he replies, “Every-thing is normal, my time is working just fine”, but looking out at us ratherstrangely he quickly says “but what in the world has happened to you, you’removing very slow. Has your time slowed down?” Apparently he is observing our world as if it is moving slower. Why? Thereason is more obvious if we turn up the speed of the movie even faster. So weturn the movie dial up about five settings faster and now our little friend is reallymoving fast. He experiences his whole day, he goes to work, to the store, hasdinner, and then comes outside to talk to us again, and we have watched hiswhole day pass in only ten seconds. Quickly we shift back to normal speed inorder to talk to him, and he says, "I kept an eye on you all day, and your clockticked off ten seconds nearly as slow as the sun moved through my sky." He tellsus an hour went by in the time it took our clocks to move forward one singlesecond. Why can’t we seem to affect his sense of time? Inside the movie, time is normal because twenty frames are still required forhis clock to show that a second has passed, and no matter what speed we viewthe movie, it still requires fifteen frames for our friend inside the hologram tomake one step forward. We could reduce the total number of frames in themovie, decreasing the pattern difference between each frame, so there would befewer individual moments in the movie, but the effect would be the same. That
  • 160. 146 | EVERYTHING FOREVERdecrease would only change how many frames are required for one second topass. In the other direction, we could increase the number of frames, and soreduce the difference between each frame and the next down even to beinginfinitely small, but the persons sense of time in the movie is still unchanged,because we are merely altering how many frames it takes to experience the sameamount of difference. We could try to limit the amount of difference between each two frames tozero, but that would only make each frame the same, in which case time for ourlittle friend would stop. But suppose we turn the projector on the randomdisplay setting. If the series of frames don’t follow an order, if each frame isdramatically different than the next, then there isn’t a linear time direction, andthe previously sensible images in the movie decay instantaneously into chaos.What all this reveals is that for the movie to mirror what we know as time theremust be a reasonably consistent measure of difference between each successiverearrangement of space. There must be a limitation to how much change canoccur in each successive moment, which limits the distance that objects canmove in a set number of frames. This limit ends up being a speed limit for allmoving objects, even though the limit actually is only controlling the tiny jumpsmade by tiny pixels in each frame. In our real world there is an identical limit upon how much change can oc-cur. The speed of light regulates the maximum amount of difference betweenone moment and the next. It is a measurable constant to which nature limits allchange, managing that task by limiting the distance light particles can quantummechanically leap from place to place. This naturally translates into a limit uponthe speed which larger objects can travel in a measure of time. In every sense,the speed of light is the chief regulator of change. Just as we cannot travel faster than the speed of light in a set period of timein the real world, objects in the hologram cannot move from one position to adifferent position beyond a particular speed. This change constant insures thatthe movie looks real and undistorted, both to us and even the person inside themovie. As we increase the speed at which we observe the moments of themovie, we do not change the overall number of moments which make up themovie. Nor do we affect the amount of change to each frame. We merely in-crease our remote viewing speed. And so even though we observe time movingfaster from outside looking in, on the inside, everything appears normal andundistorted to its occupants. If we slow down the movie film, slower than normal, to see what our friendsays about that, he reports that our clocks and movements have become fast andcrazy, and after getting dizzy watching us he requests that we return the speed ofour world back to normal, so that both worlds can evolve at the same rate. So inconclusion we find that even though time becomes faster or slower in one or theother world, in both worlds the observer experiences the rate of time to be
  • 161. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 147normal. Does this sound familiar? This is exactly how scientists describe the realtime dilation of our own space-time universe.Motion Eating Up Time But why does motion in the real universe cause time dilation? Suppose ourfriend in the movie travels very fast away from his family who stay at homeinside his house. Previously he was moving through a series of frames in orderto experience time. So his time is really a sort of movement through manyindividual three dimensional spaces which creates a fourth dimension of spacewhere changes take place. If our friend hops into his spaceship and travels to themoon then he is moving through space in two ways. In each successive frame heis farther away from his home and his position in each successive three dimen-sional frame is changing virtually at the maximum which the frames allow him tochange position in the movie. In a way he is moving at or very near to the speedof time. How then does his motion affect his sense of time? The problem for him isthat his lateral movement through the patterns adds up to almost all of thechange that is allotted to the movie. If he uses up all his time in order to changehis position, moving away from his home and family, then he will not have anytime left over to age as fast as everyone else. So if he could view his family, hewould find that they are moving and aging very fast in comparison to his ownsense of time. Time seems normal for everything that is traveling along with himin the spaceship. But his personal clock slows down in relation to places that areat rest in respect to the time rate of the movie. His motion is indeed using uptime. One way of describing this is to say that the spaceship’s motion uses up mostof the available time, which steals away time from the ship’s internal metabolism.The occupants of the spaceship don’t notice anything strange in the time lefto-ver . Time seems to be passing normally until they look in the rear view mirrorand see everyone on the Earth experiencing time twice, ten times, or a thousandtimes faster than themselves. If more and more time were translated into the motion through the succes-sive frames, then there would be less and less time left over for aging. Naturallythen, as the traveler approaches the maximum speed of change (our speed oflight), then his time slows and stops relative to everything else in the movie. Heis then experiencing timelessness, the static existence of the movie frames, but asa result, the time of his outer world has escalated and all of history has passed byunbeknownst to him, in the blink of an eye.
  • 162. 148 | EVERYTHING FOREVERTime as Space The goal of this whole display was to show that a world created from a seriesof spaces has the same unique qualities as our own world. As moments pass bythe measure of change allowed in each rearrangement of space determines thespeed limit of all traveling objects. That speed limit also determines the speed ofclock time when objects are at rest. Why is there a speed limit? We might con-clude that the speed of light indicates that our real time is very much like amovie, made up of a sequence of static unchanging moments. Time dilation isreal. The flexing of time has been proven in countless experiments of timedilation since Einstein theorized them. Atomic clocks were placed on the Apollomoon missions and the slowing of time was measured exactly as predicted. The very fact that there is a speed limit, a metabolism rate to the universe,indicates that our experience of clock time is somehow similar to frames rollingthrough a projector. Suppose we ask, how many timeless moments it takes to getfrom here to there? The question sort of makes sense because we all know thatthe most obvious component of time is change. Generally, as a simple way ofunderstanding time dilation, we can say that traveling at ninety nine percent thespeed of light only leaves one percent of the overall metabolism of the universeto be invested in your body chemistry and the spaceship’s clock. The amount ofchange in the ship’s motion, and the amount of change invested in your body’schemistry, add up to the speed of light, which always remains constant, becauseit is the true clock of the universe. It might seem at this advanced stage of history that the speed of light is areasonable feature of the cosmos, but not long ago it was a totally unexpectedand a highly odd discovery. No one expected a speed limit. Why can’t objectsmove at any speed? We can see in the movie analogy how an ultimate speedlimit is a requirement of linear and lateral time. If the speed of light did not limitthe measure of available difference from one moment to the next, the cohesive-ness of events would decay. The speed of light is just the maximum amount ofchange allowed in a given number of time frames. Without that limit time won’tflow cohesively. Without that restriction time would turn chaotic.Onward to a Map of Timelessness Okay so we are ready to lay out the blueprints of time. We are ready to mapall conceivable patterns, and find where our own universe fits into the bigpicture. I usually call this map Pattern Space. All conceivable patterns are assumedin this scenario to be physically real, as real as any moment. Look around you.The “now” of you reading this book is in the catalog. In this timeless scenario of what infinity is like, patterns are more fundamen-tal than time. Like numbers or ideas, pattern space just is, it is existence. It is allpossible pieces of the whole pie. It is the seat of reality, the default state. Each
  • 163. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 149pattern within the great bulk of all patterns has always existed and will alwaysexist. Nothing causes them, nothing affects them. Relative to the flowing timewe experience, we would say that pattern space exists at right angles to clocktime and change. In fact these elementary patterns have been hidden in our explorations of in-finity all along, since in exploring the existence of any scenario of what infinitymeans, any of the evolving time worlds we imagined require that many of theseindividual moments exist at very least temporarily. Each imaginable moment oftime in any time world is a template that could be utilized simultaneously bymultiple time worlds. For example, the moment of now you are presently expe-riencing is utilized by the many different paths of time in the Many-Worldsscenario, since it branches out to many unique futures, and could have resultedfrom many unique pasts. So in summary, when we try to explore what is possible within an infiniteuniverse, we can try to imagine time worlds, or we can merely explore thestructure of patterns, as if an infinity of patterns would satisfy the need forexistence to be infinite. If the answer to “what does infinity mean?” is answeredby, “all possibilities must exist”, then infinitely many patterns may satisfy thatprinciple, even without any time worlds existing at all. Any time worlds that doexist would then be secondary to the more primary existence of pattern space.Hence any time worlds that exist might be very select and limited. Given that wecan understand pattern space, and explore its shape and structure, we might beable to learn to understand why only special time worlds exist. We would thenhave in our possession the blueprints of existence itself. What follows transforms into what I have come to believe is the most simpleand sensible version of an infinite universe, a version that can explain why timeworlds such as our own are privileged to exist while others are not. The questionwe have now arrived at is, if time is made up of timeless patterns, what is theinfinity of all patterns like? In the coming chapters we will create a precise modelof all conceivable patterns. I believe what follows is the first complete model oftimelessness.
  • 164. 150 | EVERYTHING FOREVERIt is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking, the mostfruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different linesof thought meet.Werner Heisenberg ~~~Appealing to everything in general to explain something in particular is really noexplanation at all. To a scientist, it is just as unsatisfying as simply declaring,"God made it that way!"Paul Davies ~~~The vacuum is the most complex substance in the universe. Within it are allparticles and forces, even those unknown to science. Physicists now believe thatthe vacuum – the emptiness in deep space, or even in a vacuum chamber – holdsthe secret to the newest question in cosmology: what is this mysterious [repulsiveforce], this anti-gravity force that flattens out the universe and pushes galaxiesapart?Charles Seife ~~~The idea of nothing has bugged people for centuries, especially in the Westernworld. We have a saying in Latin, Ex nihilo nuhil fit, which means "out ofnothing comes nothing." It has occurred to me that this is a fallacy of tremendousproportions. It lies at the root of all our common sense, not only in the West, butin many parts of the East as well. It manifests in a kind of terror of nothing, a put-down on nothing, and a put-down on everything associated with nothing, such assleep, passivity, rest, and even the feminine principles. But to me nothing -- thenegative, the empty -- is exceedingly powerful. I would say, on the contrary, youcant have something without nothing. Image nothing but space, going on and on,with nothing in it forever. But there you are imagining it, and you are somethingin it. The whole idea of there being only space, and nothing else at all is not onlyinconceivable but perfectly meaningless, because we always know what we meanby contrast.Alan Watts ~~~There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what theUniverse is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced bysomething even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another which states thatthis has already happened.Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • 165. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 151 Fractal Art: Big Bang © Kerry MitchellThe supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary lawsfrom which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction.Albert EinsteinPart FourThe Great Cosmic Attractor Over the past two centuries science turned inward upon the universe, withmost of its focus placed toward the particles that collectively create the largerobjects of ordinary experience. The underlying philosophy has been that parti-cles explain the larger world, and it is hard to imagine that any approach couldhave been more completely successful at understanding and manipulating all thematerials of the universe, the most effective level of comprehension being theatomic structures defined by the periodic table of elements. We understand thebuilding blocks of the material universe, and we have extensively explored thechemistry of those elements, explored the physics of those elements, exploredthe cosmology of those elements, and successfully so. Never the less, and this isso important to acknowledge, the bottom-up approach consistently leaves themore profound questions unsolved. The bottom-up approach just isn’t the righttool for asking why the universe exists, or why there is order, or even why timehas a direction. Most of us appreciate the world from the bottom-up. It is only natural thatwe see the world as many things all floating in empty space, fortunately keptfrom drifting away due to gravity. It is only natural that modern science origi-nated as a study of the universe from the bottom-up. And there is certainly noreason to deny the fact that the bottom-up approach is the most important
  • 166. 152 | EVERYTHING FOREVERcritical tool of science. As long as we remember there is more out there. Thereare other ways of seeing the universe, or at least for certain there is one otheroverall paradigm. There is the top-down perspective. People who have looked beyond the known universe and tapped into thetop-down perspective as they worked toward describing the greater wholeinclude Richard Feynman, with the Sum over histories theory; Hugh Everettwith the Many-Worlds Theory; David Bohm with implicate order; StephenHawking with his focus on Imaginary time and the No boundary proposal, andrecently Julian Barbour with his triangle land model of Platonia. Such efforts canbe detrimental to one’s career, since so many scientists assume there is no top-down perspective. After all, there isn’t a largest number. There isn’t a top-downin mathematics. Infinity in mathematics is an incomplete never ending series.And according to the second law, there isn’t a limit to the measure of disorderedpossibilities. There is just endless disorder. So how could there be a scientificallyviable top-down view? Some skeptics think of top-down methods as pseudo-science, and consider the big picture beyond the scope of scientific study. However, the top-down approach is becoming increasingly scientific in thetwenty first century, as bottom-up information approaches stages of actuallybeing complete and universal. It is then that top-down theories can be criticallyevaluated against all the bottom-up data. Recently the term top-down has be-come increasingly commonplace, where at times in the past those who thoughtin such terms were scrutinized, such as Piet Hut, a top-down thinker whoseresearch position at the Institute for Advanced Study was at one time threateneduntil other scientists defended the necessity of academic freedom. StephenHawking himself has lectured on the need of a top-down approach in cosmol-ogy. Hawking recently openly defended the approach in an extensive scientificpaper entitled Cosmology from the Top-down, which is available on the internet. There are certainly both bottom-up and top-down elements within all themajor theories of the universe, such as Einstein’s general theory of relativity, andBarbour’s triangles. Stephen Hawking has applied sum-over-histories to cosmol-ogy and acknowledged its implications for time. He also has focused on how aset of all possible states might influence the evolving universe. In his Top-downpaper Hawking mentions: The bottom up approach to cosmology, of supposing some initial state, and evolv- ing it forward in time, is basically classical, because it assumes that the universe began in a way that was well defined and unique. But one of the first acts of my research career, was to show with Roger Penrose, that any reasonable classical cosmological solution, has a singularity in the past. This implies that the origin of the universe, was a quantum event. This means that it should be described by the Feynman sum over histories. The universe doesnt have just a single history, but every possible history, whether or not they satisfy the field equations.
  • 167. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 153 Usually a top-down theory or insight is the result of bottom-up scientificwork, an extension or insight of hard science, but some scientists developedimportant science based upon top-down principles. Boltzmann’s version of thesecond law is the most obvious example. Another, Barbour’s belief that time isan illusion led him to conclude there must be a underlying structure creating theillusion of time, so he developed triangle land. Indeed, science is increasinglyable to solidly answer ever bigger questions, such as whether the space of ourown universe is finite or infinitely extended. We are slowly progressing toward afar different perspective of the universe where we view the big picture, theinfinite universe, and then recognize our universe within that whole. How does time begin? What is matter? Why is the universe systematic? Whyare there four forces of nature? We need some other approach beyond thebottom-up in order to answer such questions. Instead of only exploring theuniverse from the bottom-up approach, we must also scientifically explore theuniverse from the top-down. Exploring timelessness is the genesis of top-down science. And there is nomore simple way of exploring timelessness than to consider the structure of allconceivable patterns. What could be more top-down than studying the entireinfinity of what is conceivable. I have been thinking in terms of timeless patternsfor a long time, roughly thirty years. And I can say with great certainty that whatis missing in science today is a better model of the big picture. How Boltzmannmodeled all possible states was a wonderful first step toward focusing outwardon the structure of the whole but that step was made nearly a hundred and fortyyears ago, before most of modern science was even in place. Unfortunately,since then science has only narrowed its focus to include only what it considerspossible within the restraints of a bottom-up (particle) driven space-time. Wehaven’t built upon and advanced the basic concepts that Boltzmann practiced. This brings us to the most evident missing ingredient in Boltzmann’s originalthinking; a state of absolute zero; the bottom end of physics. Even though todaywe are fully aware that the evolution of time is accelerating toward absolute zero,our modern vision of all possible states still does not include any representationor recognition of absolute zero. The time has come to admit an absolute zerostate into the group of states considered available to the deep time of cosmo-logical evolution. As we continue we will be making several additions to how we presentlymodel all possible states. I will present a number of dramatic modifications inhow we see all possibilities, all of which result from integrating absolute zerointo state space, and all of which impact our modern comprehension of time’sarrow and the second law of thermodynamics. Integrating zero first leads ustoward discerning the shape of reality itself, and then it leads to discovering thegoverning dynamics of the universe.
  • 168. 154 | EVERYTHING FOREVER…in eternity there is no distinction between being and potential being.Giordano Bruno ~~~If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave thedoor to the unknown ajar.Richard Feynman ~~~Live neither in the entanglement of outer things,nor in inner feelings of emptiness.Be serene in the oneness of thingsand such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.Seng Tsan The Hisn Hisn Ming ~~~…how would things seem if time didn’t flow? If we suppose for the moment thatthere is an objective flow of time, we seem to be able to imagine a world whichwould be just like ours, except that it would be a four-dimensional block universerather than a three dimensional dynamic one…Things would seem this way, evenif we ourselves were elements of a block universe.Huw Price ~~~Things which are put together are both whole and not whole, brought togetherand taken apart, in harmony and out of harmony. One thing arises from all things,and all things arise from one thing.Heraclitus ~~~Every man believes that he has greater possibilities.Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~~Lots of people limit their possibilities by giving up easily.Norman Vincent Peale. ~~~You and I are essentially infinite choice makers. In every moment of our existence,we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity ofchoices.Deepak Chopra ~~~Those who do not stop asking silly questions become scientists.Leon Lederman
  • 169. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 155The only way of discovering the limits of the possible isto venture a little way past them into the impossible.Arthur C. ClarkeChapter Twelve The Draftsman © Paul DeCelleThe Shape of All ConceivablesHow Grouping and Symmetry shape the Possible Realm Whatever exists out there beyond the boundaries of our experience, that real-ity out there somewhere, out there everywhere, has a tremendous unseen impactupon our lives. The big picture is the key to answering all of the profoundquestions. Is the second law correct in implying that the universe is windingdown? Does our existence fade away in time or does life continue beyond death?Is there a God? Let’s face it, the big picture holds the secrets of the small pic-ture, and not the other way around. The big picture decides our fate, the fate ofthe universe, and the ultimate purpose and meaning of life in general. The bigpicture really does matter intimately to each and every person. Ludwig Boltzmann began what should have become a slow careful study ofthe shape of the big picture but a few years later when quantum theory camealong scientists discovered that particles can only maintain certain energy states,and consequently they started thinking in terms of only what is strictly possibleconsidering the structure of the atomic world, thinking only from the bottom-up. If one considers a number of gas particles in a closed container there are aspecific number of energy levels available. Consequently the term ‘possiblestates’ has come to refer only to the select group of patterns that are available toa closed system of particles. In science today there is a difference between all possible states and all con-ceivable states. An analogy of the difference is noticeable in how we mightconsider what is possible for sixteen balls on a billiards table. We quickly imag-ine the balls grouped together or spread out in a wide variety of patterns withinthe frame of the table. What we don’t think to consider is all the different shapesthe mass and particles of each ball could form within the frame of the tabletop.We don’t consider that the balls might melt together and transform into othershapes since that never happens, it isn’t chemically possible, and in scienceeverything beyond what is chemically possible is overlooked. Why considerpossibilities that would disobey the laws of nature as we know them? However,when we think big we realize there are two extreme possibilities. The matter of
  • 170. 156 | EVERYTHING FOREVERthe balls could transform into one large ball, or it could spread out evenly acrossthe table and therein become the surface of the table. In not looking at the bigpicture, in not considering every conceivable pattern beyond the ordinary, wefail to recognize the two directions of increasing order, and we also fail to seehow extremes give shape to the overall realm of possibilities. If we consider the possible states of a coin flip we recognize heads or tails asavailable possibilities. We certainly don’t consider states where the coin whenflipped into the air suddenly changes shape, disintegrates, or vanishes into a wispof air. Nor do we imagine possibilities where the coin tossed in the air never fallsto the ground but just floats upward into the clouds. Such events in time, al-though imaginatively conceivable, are not even science fiction, they’re fantasy,simply because they would defy laws we know exist within time. The problem isthat in limiting our imagination strictly to what is possible according to suchlaws, we are unwittingly cutting ourselves off from ever understanding thoselaws. We are thinking only from inside the box when we need to also see what’soutside of the box (non-local) in order to understand the limits inside the box. The full complexity and magnitude of all conceivable patterns we shall be as-sessing in this chapter is easily under appreciated. Just imagine the possibleconfigurations of grains of sand on a beach, or the growth of trees in a forest.There is so much to imagine when thinking of the entire bulk of all conceivabil-ities that it can feel intimidating, appear foolish or senseless, and even seem alittle scary. Just imagining all the various configurations possible of a deck ofcards, the coin flip above, or a walk in the park, is mind boggling. However,what we shall discover is that the realm of all conceivable patterns is also oftenimaginatively over appreciated. It is wholly unrealized today even in science thatthe whole of imagined possibilities is in no way limitless or boundless as iscommonly assumed. The big picture is in no way beyond description. In the previous chapters, hopefully what has been conveyed is a deeper un-derstanding that we are connected to and part of a greater whole, mainly fromrecognizing that with two kinds of order in nature there is a pattern in whicheverything forms a single undivided wholeness. But of course that ‘system ofideas’ isn’t quite enough. In the face of our experience of a world of separatethings, and the powerful illusion of existing only in the present, imagining theuniverse as a whole seems more to be just an ideal, something we can try toremember through the trials of life. And it will remain only an ideal until welucidly recognize how our particular universe and life physically relates to thatwholeness in a scientific way. There has to be a physical link. Then our connect-edness with the whole would be more convincing. It would be factual. It wouldbe science. It would be real and not just an idealistic intuition, or what might bewishful imaginative thinking. Just as the big bang led scientists to take seriouslythe idea that time has a beginning, principles such as wholeness don’t impact usfully unless of course they become a part of the hard physical sciences.
  • 171. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 157 We are now about to explore the broadest foundation of reality itself freefrom time so we naturally must explore the patterns of the possible realm. Thisnew model can be referred to as the set of all possible states (soaps). Or it canbe referred to as the possible realm, or pattern space, or configuration space, orsuperspace, or it could be thought of as a version of Barbour’s Platonia. All thatis important is that this new model of possibilities sheds light on why our uni-verse is specifically this way.Admitting to Zero The first step in improving the wedge model is to integrate zero whichmeans we must establish the location of zero. Where do we place zero withinthe wedge model? Obviously zero belongs opposite of Alpha. Zero essentiallycreates a boundary to what exists beyond the great bulk of diversity existingbetween Alpha and Zero. And this means the opening outward of the wedgedoes not expand indefinitely. We already know there is a boundary in the direc-tion of the past, but there is also a boundary in the direction of the future. Figure 12.1: Science has long recognized the extreme of absolute zero, the point in physics where time would cease. But where is zero located in state space? Where is it located in the wedge model. Why doesn’t the second law show any consideration of zero. That first step is easy enough, but it immediately leads to a few new ques-tions. What is the shape of pattern space near zero? Suddenly we have to com-pletely reconsider the wedge shape as a description of all possibilities. In sciencewe recognize there is a wedge shape to pattern space near Alpha. We know thereexists an ever decreasing measure of states leading to the single Alpha state inour past. Those boundary conditions near Alpha actually are what define thewedge. They give shape to what is ultimately possible. Integrating zero doesn’tchallenge those boundary conditions. It just leads us to consider the boundaryconditions that come along with zero. It is only natural that the same principles that apply to the Alpha extremealso apply to a zero extreme. Zero is also a single extreme state, a single condi-tion, a singularity. It is a uniform state. So as we might expect, in moving towardthat single extreme there is another wedge, a reversed wedge, on the other sideof the great bulk of diverse states.
  • 172. 158 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Figure 12.2: Zero is out there somewhere beyond the great bulk of diverse states, and zero is an extreme single condition, beyond which no other possi- bilities exist, which means that the number of possibilities in the direction to- ward zero must decrease until one reaches the single state of zero. Zero is perfect symmetry. It is perfectly flat. It is the same everywhere. It isthe template of sameness and symmetry. This necessitates that there are increas-ingly fewer states that are zero-like, that are almost flat, that are almost uniform.Consequently as we move nearer to zero the shape of state space closes andnarrows inward toward the single state of zero. The overall measure of possibili-ties decreases. This forms a closing of possibilities in the direction of our future. Let’s recall here Stephen Hawkings analogy of the puzzle in the box. Everytime we shake the box there is a new pattern. And there is only one patternwhere all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. But there is also only one patternwhere the box is empty. Furthermore, if we consider patterns where there arejust two or three pieces in the box, there aren’t nearly as many unique patterns asthere are with ten or fifty pieces in the box. As we take away puzzle pieces, thereare fewer and fewer unique configurations, until finally there is just the one stateof an empty box. It follows that the measure of possible states is naturallygreatest when the box is not too full and not too empty. The same is true for the universe outside of the box. We can imagine that alarge measure of unique possible states exist for the amount of galaxies thatpresently inhabit the universe, keeping in mind there are wide expanses of emptyspace between those galaxies, and that empty space would remain a constant foreach possible state. If we then imagine adding galaxies into the measure ofempty space, so that there were more galaxies in the same volume, as is increas-ingly true of the distant past, then we can easily recognize there would be alarger measure of possible states, since there are more galaxies in the samevolume to alter into unique configurations. It follows that the measure of possi-ble states is greatest somewhere in the middle in between Alpha and Omegawhere the greatest measure of diversity exists. In considering the distant future the same principles which define the shapeof the wedge model in our past apply also to the shape of state space near zero.As matter is stretched flat and the density of space approaches zero there is anever decreasing measure of unique patterns in that direction. The nearer we areto zero the fewer possibilities exist that are zero-like. A wedge shape that con-
  • 173. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 159tracts toward Omega is the most important consequence of integrating zero intothe set of all possible states. The shape of all conceivable states is defined by twoextremes, not one. And now we can see that there is a wide spectrum of patternsranging from infinite density to the zero density. This creates a density gradient. Figure 12.3: The first step of envisioning state space clearly involves recogniz- ing the density gradient between Alpha and Zero. We see the space of Alpha as curved to the extreme of a point, while the flat space of Omega zero opens up and extends infinitely in all directions.The Future is Shaping its Own Past Recognizing the reversed wedge shape of possibilities out there in our futureis a big step forward. It carries with it some profound implications that are evenimmediately visible. Considering we are moving directly toward zero, evenpresently accelerating in that direction, a narrowing structure of possible statesmeans that our universe is increasingly influenced and focused by the finalcondition at the end of time. It means that time will eventually be forced into avery limited and defining number of future possibilities. This funneling of timenot only creates a considerable restriction to what is possible in the distantfuture, this funneling of time’s direction would even be influencing our presentat this stage of cosmic evolution. Figure 12.4: The shape of State Space near Zero. Acknowledging zero leads us to recognize that there is a decreasing measure of possibili- ties in the future. Regardless of how many possibilities there are, if time is faced with everfewer choices in the direction toward zero, then the future will naturally becomeincreasingly determined or shaped by the availability of a fewer measure ofpatterns that exist in that direction. Considering how flat and empty the large-
  • 174. 160 | EVERYTHING FOREVERscale universe is at present, in the same way the past was focused outward byAlpha, as Barbour put it, “like a trumpeter’s horn”, our future is being increas-ingly channeled inward toward ZAT (absolute zero), so it is increasingly focusedby, and made to be like zero, simply due to the narrowing of possibilities. Ofcourse we are very near to zero presently, and with so much empty space in theuniverse, we have to expect that the final destination of time is already activelyshaping our present. We are already in the stage of converging inward on zero. Of course we are accustomed to the way zero is effecting our universe, theinfluences seem normal to us, or at least we see them as just the way the uni-verse is. We take the influences of zero for granted. For example, the acceleratedexpansion of the universe isn’t just the way the universe is, it is caused by thenarrowing wedge of possibilities in our future. Further, in understanding thatzero is the symmetry order extreme, and remembering how symmetry ordersupplies the component of balance to all patterns, we can realize that all thesymmetries and increasing balances of our world are the result of moving in-creasingly nearer to zero. A great deal of the order of our world is the result ofthe tunnel of possibilities in the direction of zero. This future wedge ends up being just as significant and influential as thewedge in our past. Up to now, the old wedge model has been our only means ofunderstanding the difference between the past and the future. If imagining asingle wedge-like structure of all states helped us in the past to understand thearrow of time, and thermodynamics, what can we expect from a far more accu-rate model? We have over thirteen and a half billion years of observable dataconcerning the past. Maybe an ultimate model could provide the mathematics aswell as the reasons why time moves so directly toward zero, and why stars andgalaxies and even atoms form. Perhaps a master blueprint of all conceivablestates can explain why the momentum of time slows and then increases as theuniverse approaches zero. Such a model might also provide insight into gravita-tion or why the expansion of the Big Bang happened in the first place. Omega is full and not empty. So what the narrowing wedge in our futuremeans is that the universe and we ourselves in various ways are presently feelingthe influence of the balanced whole. Zero is influencing the present universe inways that increase balance. One force of nature in particular, the great balancingforce of electromagnetism, is entirely the result of our moving ever nearer to thebalance of zero. Later we shall give this focusing to the direction of time a greatdeal of further study since this influence from the future, combined togetherwith the influence of the grouping order of our past, creates a wonderfullysimple way of comprehending the forces of nature. However, before we areready for that insight, we first need to more fully understand the shape of thepossible realm. Now that we have considered the past and future, let’s take alook at those possibilities that exist adjacent the present. Just how diverse is thegreat bulk of diverse states?
  • 175. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 161 One of the deep puzzles is why the universe has become complex. Why has thebiosphere become complex? Why has the number of ways of earning a living in-creased so dramatically? We have no theory about this overwhelming feature of ouruniverse. I propose in Investigations that biospheres, on average, increase the diver-sity of "what can happen next", their "adjacent possible", as fast as they can withoutdestroying the order already achieved. At least it is a possible start in this direction.Stuart KauffmanThe Adjacent Possible Ultimately we should expect that the structure of the universe we experienceis directly the product of what is possible. In any scenario, a big bang, intelligentdesign, or creation, we should expect the overall big picture so to speak rea-sonably leads to the universe we experience, be that God, Mother Nature, orwhatever that big picture is. If we take into consideration how the success ofquantum mechanics and the second law both indicate that our universe is influ-enced by probabilities, then it starts to make sense that the really big picture isshaping every small part of what we experience. The really big picture shapesour past and our future, while both past and the future possibilities shape thepresent. What we are going to do next is ask a question concerning the boundaries ofa wedge. The classical wedge shape is conveyed by a top and bottom boundaryexpanding outward from a point. Julian Barbour diagrams his wedge with squig-gly lines. Others have drawn straight lines. Here we are discovering a reversedwedge in our future. But what do the lines themselves represent? What actuallydefines the top and bottom edges of the wedge? Figure 12.5: What defines the adjacent boundaries in state space?The Inner Boundary of Smoothness If we could watch the big bang event from a distance, a view from nowherein particular, a question that would arise would be, why didnt the early universeremain perfectly smooth as it expanded? It is an old question in astronomy andcosmology. Instead of remaining smooth, very small variations in the rate ofexpansion produced minute differences, which gravity then amplified. The more
  • 176. 162 | EVERYTHING FOREVERdense areas underwent a phase transition and became matter, and eventuallytransformed into galaxies and galaxy clusters. Without these mysterious fluctua-tions in the density of space, the universe would have remained perfectly uni-form. Gravity would never have been a distinct force of nature since gravity’sinfluence would have been evenly distributed over the entire volume of space-time. Of course life would not exist in such a universe to note the difference. But the question of why the universe isn’t smooth has at least led to a vaguerecognition in cosmology that a smooth configuration is an extreme of possibil-ity. Physicists don’t talk about double or hyper smooth universes. There isn’tanything beyond perfectly smooth. It is just a natural boundary to what is possi-ble at any given average cosmological density. We can easily imagine a smoothcosmos from beginning to end, as in, a universe where time starts from Alphaand ends at Omega, with conditions always remaining smooth. Such a universewould always maintain a uniform density and mass, without the lumpiness ofparticles, stars, or galaxies. In this smooth universe scenario, time would begin smooth, always remainsmooth, and end smooth, so it is a very simple, plain, and boring universe toenvision, but it is a significant scenario in that it represents an extreme of possi-bility for the entire evolution of the universe. Every other possible pattern is lesssmooth. So in the same way Alpha and zero create boundaries for our past andfuture, these smooth states form a sort of outer membrane to the whole ofpossibilities, beyond which no other possibilities exist. This line in the sand evenrepresents an outer boundary in the realm of all imaginable universes in thechaos description. It simply defines the outer edge of reality. Figure 12.6: The Smooth Extreme. The density variations in the early universe that became galaxies and us areusually attributed to quantum instability but there may be a simpler way oflooking at the mystery, a way of understanding why there is quantum instability.The image above displays the smooth extreme as an outer boundary running allthe way from Alpha to Zero. If we imagine the early shaping of the universe as ifnature is choosing amongst all the patterns that are possible, then obviously thesmooth path is only one possibility among the many alternatives where theuniverse doesn’t remain smooth and instead becomes lumpy. In order for theearly universe to have remained perfectly smooth for any extended period of
  • 177. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 163time, the selection process would have had to choose the one perfectly smoothpattern for each and every new moment of time. The path of time would havehad to pull that particular pattern out of the hat again and again, somewhat likethe same person winning the lottery every day, every hour, every minute, everysecond. If a universe is perfectly smooth then its directions of freedom are obviouslylimited to either staying smooth or becoming lumpy. And since there is only oneperfectly smooth pattern and a whole variety of lumpy patterns, with so manylumpy patterns compared to the one smooth pattern, it is enormously improb-able that the path of a universe would continuously choose the smooth extreme,that is, if time has a probabilistic nature. Note how this is the same basic reason-ing behind the second law, except we are using it here to explain why the uni-verse didn’t remain in a perfectly equalized state. So we are turning the logic ofthe second law around to show that a perfect thermal equilibrium state for theentire universe is improbable. Smoothness is actually an outer edge of improb-ability.The Lumpy Universe The next step along this same way of thinking is to recognize that anotherextreme exists opposite of the smooth extreme. Adjacent the wide axis fromAlpha to ZAT, opposite to the smooth extreme, there is an extreme case oflumpiness, even if such a state is initially difficult to envision. We know the earlyuniverse did not remain smooth. Small fluctuations caused the universe tobecome moderately lumpy and yet isotropic, meaning that matter was for somereason distributed very equally throughout the entire universe. The originalvariations in density were moderate and similar enough to create the distributionof over a hundred billion galaxies presently observed by telescopes. But howlumpy could the universe have been had conditions been allowed to be moreextreme? What if the earliest fluctuations had been more violent? How mightthe universe have turned out? Figure 12.7: The Lumpy Extreme. The smooth and lumpy extremes necessarily exist at any given measure of average density throughout the range of density from infinite to zero.
  • 178. 164 | EVERYTHING FOREVER When our telescopes first grew powerful enough to see the galaxies, wemight have discovered one side of our universe is totally empty of galaxies, whilethe other side is more massive. Some regions of the universe might have ex-panded during the big bang only for the first billion or so years, and then col-lapsed, forming ominous black holes unlike anything we observe today. Wewould know exactly where such a giant black hole was located because its gravi-tational force would intensely warp the large-scale topology of space, pullingmillions or billions of galaxies toward it. Can we imagine a universe that is still even lumpier? First we might imagineall the protons of the universe combined into a single giant proton particle, andall of the electrons combined into a super electron, and imagine this giant atomas a cosmos. It’s a little hard to imagine and of course such an extreme divisionof charged particles doesnt seem normal or physically possible to us, but justconsider if a basic law of nature was that like particles attract while oppositeparticles repel. Charged matter would then divide apart into two groups. Imagine a single massive black hole existing in the center of a giant bubble ofspace-time, a black hole which for all intensive purposes would be the core ofthe big bang being maintained in that location. Seen from a distance, this ob-scure center of mass would not emit light like a star, but the event horizon mightemit virtual particles that escape out into the surrounding space. I realize thelumpy extreme doesnt seem physically possible from our region of normalcyliving in such a moderately lumpy universe, but keep in mind that what seemspossible to us is a product of what we know to be probable. The whole point ofthis rendering is finding the outer edge of the possible, even if such a state ishighly improbable or even impossible. All that matters is that the lumpy extremeis conceivable, which establishes a second outer membrane in the realm of allpossibilities directly opposite the smooth extreme. And we of course naturallyfind ourselves in the middle between extremes. The flow of time for our universe is naturally trapped between the outer ex-tremes of possibility. If time strays off course, if time moves toward the lumpyside, the group of states which are smoother than the present inevitably grows insize, so the comparison might become 60/40 percent, which means that thereare more possibilities that are smooth, as compared to the present. Consequentlythe probability for time to turn toward the smooth side grows stronger. In factthe farther that time moves away from the balance point in between extremes, inany direction, the greater the probability for time to turn back toward middleground. The most probable location in pattern space is always the point of balance betweenextremes.
  • 179. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 165The Contrast Gradient The best way to properly appreciate the inevitable existence of the smoothand lumpy extremes and the gradient between those extremes is to comparethem to the ordinary concept of contrast. In the most simple of terms thesesame extremes can be compared to all the possible degrees of contrast that existfor any image we might imagine. Contrast adjustments can be made to anytelevision or computer monitor, causing color tones to either blend until theybecome a single color (low contrast) which is simply the average of the wholeand is typically some shade of gray. Or the color tones of an image can divideapart into two opposing shades of light and dark (high contrast), which is typi-cally black and white. Figure 12.8: The two directions of contrast. In the dichotomy of two orders, grouping order reflects the case of greatestpossible contrast while symmetry order reflects the lowest possible contrast. Asimple contrast gradient is an extremely useful concept, a sort of key, that allowsanyone in the simplest of terms to generally envision the overall spectrum ofpossibilities. We have already recognized a density gradient that spans from the
  • 180. 166 | EVERYTHING FOREVERinfinite density of Alpha to the zero density of Omega. Now we have found acontrast gradient that exists at right angles to the density gradient. Note how the contrast gradient synchronizes well with the concepts ofgrouping and symmetry order. At any given average cosmological density, thelumpy extreme is also the extreme of grouping order, where matter and space,matter and antimatter, or positive and negative, are divided apart. The smoothextreme is also the extreme of symmetry order, where there are no such divi-sions and only sameness and uniformity. These very fundamental boundary conditions define the possible realm andthey are an important step in improving how we visually represent all possibili-ties. They also bound all possible states. The model shown below is infinite andyet bounded in all directions of possibility and conceivability. In between thefour extremes shown we find all the varied patterns, a measure beyond imagina-tion in quantity and variety, but not beyond imagination in its overall shape andstructure. Figure 12.9: The four most basic boundaries in the set of all possibilities. With the smooth and lumpy extremes drawn in between Alpha and Omega, we have an oval shape similar to a football. Could there be a connection?
  • 181. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 167 These rather simple boundary conditions can be derived from a basic knowl-edge of physics. Virtually everyone who has ever heard of the big bang theory atleast intuitively knows there is an Alpha. And it hardly requires deep thought toappreciate that a perfectly empty space is also an extreme. Empty space can’t getany emptier. Scientists have long pondered why the universe became lumpy. Thecondition of smoothness at a particular cosmic density is just like the conditionof empty space. Both are extremes of uniformity. The only extreme that issomewhat difficult to imagine is the lumpy extreme, but we can certainly reasonthat there must be such an extreme, just as there is the Alpha extreme in ourpast. The lumpy extreme is a sort of carry over in the possible realm of theAlpha state, at lower densities. So now that we have an enclosed world of possi-bilities, what does it mean? What can we do with it?
  • 182. 168 | EVERYTHING FOREVERExcess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction,whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.Plato We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the lan- guages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrange- ment of the books; a mysterious order it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects... Albert EinsteinPhotos: Lower: Havasu Falls © Christophe TestiTop: True Paradise © Philip Rocheleau
  • 183. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 169To my mind there must be at the bottom of it all not an utterly simple equationbut an utterly simple idea, and to me that idea when we finally discover it will beso compelling, so inevitable, so beautiful, that we will all say to each other, ohhow could it have been otherwise.John Archibald WheelerChapter ThirteenEverything Moves Towards BalanceWhy is Time Approaching Zero? In the science of studying the space of possibilities attractors are thought toinfluence or pull time in some direction. Sometimes attractors pull time in aspecific direction while others pull time in a general direction. An attractor mightbe a single pattern or it might be a large group of patterns. For example, inBoltzmann’s wedge model the arrow of time is thought to be caused by thegreater quantity of disordered possibilities than ordered ones. This designatesthe larger body of disordered states as an attractor. As we understand possibili-ties today, the greater measure of disordered states is seen as the most dominantattractor in the whole of possibilities. The preponderance of disorder has longbeen imagined to be the only reason for a difference between past and future. We normally assume the past is responsible for creating the present, but thesecond law suggests the future is pulling the present. The idea that the future hasinfluence over the past and the present is clearly visible in the wedge model. Ifwe estimate the present to be in some location within the wedge, this naturallysplits the whole of possibilities into two groups, which we can refer to as past-like states and future-like states. Using Boltzmann’s wedge as an example, belowwe are splitting possibilities into two groups, a group of states which are moreordered than the present, and so past-like, as well as a group of states which aremore disordered than the present, and so future-like. Figure 13.1: Even the outdated wedge model includes a past-like group and a future-like group of possibilities. Time is thought to move toward disorder be- cause there are so many more disordered possibilities.
  • 184. 170 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Now that we have integrated absolute zero and created the soaps model wecan also portray that new model split apart by the present. Logically we have toplace the point of our own present very near to zero, because we know theuniverse is only a few degrees away from ZAT (zero) and because there isalready so much empty space in the universe. Figure 13.2: If the past-like set of states is larger than the future-like set of states, then why is time traveling toward a smaller group of possibilities. Only now we have exposed a problem with the soaps description developedso far. We can no longer detect a reason for why time is traveling in the direc-tion it is traveling. If we imaginatively transport ahead in time and look at whatis probable from the standpoint of zero, then all other possibilities lie in theopposite direction toward Alpha. If time moved forward all the way to zero, allother possibilities would lie in the past. And with all states existing in one direc-tion, absolute zero would be every bit as improbable as the original Alpha state. The real magic behind Boltzmann’s way of thinking about possibilities is theunderlying approach of splitting up the whole into two large groups and thencomparing those groups. In whatever measure that time is free to flow, thelarger group of possibilities will naturally become the dominant attractor. Inher-ently this makes any extreme condition highly unstable. In the wedge model theAlpha extreme is highly unstable because there are so many states of lesser orderpulling time away from Alpha. In the soaps model, the smooth extreme we justidentified is highly improbable because of so many other states which are lump-ier. But then the lumpy extreme is also improbable because there are so manystates which aren’t so lumpy. So naturally the probable area is somewhere in themiddle between extremes. In fact, the deeply simplistic principle that Boltzmann originally conjured upto develop the second law was the principle that the free flow of time will movetoward whatever ultimate balance exists in the whole of possibilities. In thewedge model time is at least trying to find a state of balance, even if the flow oftime cannot find a state of balance because there is an ever increasing quantity ofdisordered states. In Boltzmann’s wedge the body of disordered states is indefi-nite, since it grows infinitely larger. So Boltzmann’s idea that disorder is anattractor always holds true regardless of where the present is located in themodel. It has been a mistake however to think that the potential for disorder isgenuinely without end, one that scientists have become increasingly uncomfort-able with in recent years, evidenced by a shying away from the order to disorder
  • 185. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 171argument of the second law. Such ideas conflict with our observations that timeis moving toward the extremities of zero. There is certainly no way to designatezero as the most disordered state, nor would a cosmic dominance of disorderprobabilistically force time toward any outer edge in the realm of possibilities. When astrophysicists sorted out the red-shifting of galaxies and determinedthe expansion of the universe was slowing, an expanding universe seemedgenerally consistent with the second law and the idea that the universe is wind-ing down. In the more recent past, it was assumed the course of time must besettling toward some thermal equilibrium in state space short of absolute zero.There was then at least a possible correlation between the course of the expand-ing universe and how we vaguely imagined possibilities according to Boltzmann.Then in 1998 we discovered accelerating expansion and the big picture changed. Today in being more aware that there is anabsolute zero extreme in nature even inBoltzmann’s way of modeling possibilities weneed to realize there cannot always be agreater and greater measure of disorderedstates out there. If instead we imagine twodistinct sets, we have one set that contains allstates which are more disordered than thepresent, while the other set contains all states which are more ordered than thepresent. If the disordered set is greater then time will be pulled in the directionof increasing disorder, but as that happens the set of states which are less or-dered than the present (future-like) will decrease in size, and the set of statesbehind us which are more ordered (past-like) will increase in size. And eventuallythe two sets will become equal. As the probability that order will increase grows,the probability for disorder weakens, and finally a balance between probabilitieswill ensue. The probabilistic flow of time will then be caught between two equalattractors. Whatever state exists in the perfect middle of those two attractorsbecomes a sort of cosmic equilibrium state. It becomes the great attractor. If such a balance exists somewhere in nature then that condition should bethe primary attractor for all of time. In the new model we have developed so far,this cosmic equilibrium state would have to be located somewhere in the middlebetween Alpha and Omega, somewhere balanced between infinite density andzero density, but of course this doesn’t agree with our observations either. Timeis clearly not moving toward some middle point between Alpha and zero. Timeis long past that center point and still is moving toward zero. Time is evenaccelerating toward zero. Why then is time moving toward zero? There has to bea very good reason. And it has to be something that makes perfect sense oncewe realize it, because we are considering something very basic about reality.
  • 186. 172 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Figure 13.4. Logically time should be moving toward the ultimate balance point between Alpha and Zero, and Smooth and Lumpy extremes. Instead we clearly observe time moving toward zero as if it is the ultimate balance point in the space of all possibilities. Although it is not usually described as such, we can imagine that the universehas a momentum through pattern space. When time began the universe violentlystormed away from Alpha through the vast sea of possibilities, in a generaldirection toward zero, but that momentum gradually slowed as the energydriving time was depleted. The momentum of time slowed at an ever decreasingrate nearly to a standstill before it began to pick up speed again. As if sensingZAT was near, about six billion years ago the expansion began to accelerate,increasing approximately eighteen percent since then. What is the momentum ofthe universe telling us? Why is time behaving as if zero is the cosmic equilibriumstate? So here we are forced to finally ask a question that has been lying in waitsince the discovery of accelerating expansion surfaced in the mainstream ofscience in 1998. Why is the arrow of time aimed directly at absolute zero, andpresently even accelerating toward zero? What causes absolute zero to have sucha powerful influence over time? What larger role does absolute zero play in thetop-down picture of reality? With the arrow of time so obviously directed at absolute zero, in essence ourown universe is telling us that zero is the ultimate balance point in all of nature.So, we should probably listen and consider that option. How might ZAT be thecenter, the middle ground, the balance point of all possibilities? If zero is thecenter then obviously we must somehow expand the model we have so farcreated. Once we have reasoned this far the solution is rather obvious. Thewhole of pattern space includes both a positive and a negative side, in the sameway real numbers have two sides. To correspond with what we observe thesoaps model so far created needs to be expanded to include an inverse set ofpatterns, similar to the extension of negative numbers beyond zero in themathematical plane of real numbers. Of course this mirrored set would beidentical and yet opposite to the other. One side of pattern space would bepositive, the other negative.
  • 188. 174 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Now that we have a complete model that portrays zero as the cosmic equilib-rium state, suddenly the path of time toward zero makes probabilistic sense.And now we can say, “of course time moves toward zero”. Zero is the mathe-matical balance between positive and negative numbers. When we stop to thinkabout it, it makes perfect sense that zero is the balance of and center of allpossibilities. Zero should be the center of superspace and of Platonia. We canalso see right away, according to this model, that the Alpha in our past is apositively charged singularity. It is not a perfect symmetry because it is an imbal-ance. It is the most positive state in existence. On the far opposite side there isthe other imbalance, an Alpha that is negative. And of course opposites attract,at least in time they do. In fact this model explains why opposites attract. Itexplains why our universe instantly shot away from Alpha like an arrow shotfrom a bow. The flow of time does not travel from order to disorder, it travelsfrom extreme imbalance to perfect balance. This soaps model is perfectly compatible with, and even a necessary exten-sion of, the theory that there are two kinds of order in nature. Where the wedgemodel provided a reason for the arrow of time, this new model provides reasonswhy there are forces of nature. In the past we could not recognize any reason forwhy there are forces that create and maintain orderliness in contradiction to thetrend toward disorder. But when all other possible states are balanced aroundzero the whole dynamics of how we understand possibilities changes. The mostinteresting difference is perhaps how this model portrays existence as having anatural structure which allows only the time worlds we recognize in the Many-Worlds Theory to exist. This model now exposes clearly and succinctly that the second law is toosimple. It is not a full explanation for the arrow of time. The logic of the secondlaw as written completely breaks down if time is aimed directly at zero, evidentparticularly so at the point where the arrow hits the target. It is incorrect to saythat the universe is winding down and dying, wrong to envision the universe isonly unfolding after the big bang. It is incorrect to say the universe is movingfrom order to disorder, because there is another kind of order increasing towardthe future, and because in the deep time of cosmic evolution the arrow of time ismoving away from extreme imbalance toward the cosmic extreme of balance.Alpha is not where existence begins. It is just an inevitable imbalance existingwithin the ultimate balance of all. The fact that Alpha is so imbalanced is whatcaused the excitement of the big bang in the first place.
  • 189. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 175What was the initial state of the universe, and whywas it like that…there doesnt seem to be a naturalchoice for the initial state. It cant be flat space.That would remain flat space.Stephen HawkingChapter FourteenEquilibriumDuality In the Pursuit of Balance Photo: Rainy Days © Dave White Reasonably speaking, there must be an ultimate balance, a common middleground, where all opposites meet. We can conclude this intuitively even fromordinary experience. Positive and negative; red, yellow, and blue; matter andanti-matter, all indicate a middle ground. Two halves make a whole. Three thirdsmake a whole. Four quarters make a whole. And so if there is an ultimate bal-ance there must be some kind of universal cosmic equilibrium in existence.Where it is, who knows? It may be just a way of looking at things, an idea orprinciple. Or it may be a physical reality, a stage of the universe. But in principleit must exist, there must be one single place where the whole of all times andplaces and properties exist in balance with one another. But knowing this principle is just the first step. The next step is to technicallyreason that the balanced whole can only exist in the direction of our future.Balance is the most probable and natural state for any and all universes, becausein considering all the other options, all directions of probability away frombalance toward imbalance are equalized. For every probability to move awayfrom balance toward imbalance there would be an equal probability in theopposite direction. For this reason a state of perfect balance is probabilisticallydominant over any other condition. There would be no reason for time to makea large swing away from balance toward an imbalance in one direction or theother. It would never happen. There would be no impetus for such change.Once all of time achieved becoming a perfectly balanced flat universe, like acalmed body of water, it would remain in that condition forever. However, this does not mean imbalances don’t exist. The larger balance isinevitably a product of the whole, yet there is no whole without all the parts thatcreate the whole. There cannot be fullness without all potential elementarycontent. The greater infinite cannot be without the lesser finite also being. It iseven true that the principle that definitive form can be is predicated by the factthat nonexistence cannot be. Imbalances must exist, they just aren’t a result ofan ultimate balance temporally transforming or fracturing into them. Definitivethings aren’t the result of a broken perfect symmetry. They simply exist as partof the whole. Alpha exists as part of the whole.
  • 190. 176 | EVERYTHING FOREVER The simplest and most cohesive explanation of a direction of time is thattime begins from imbalance and travels toward balance. Once that idea is enter-tained one realizes it is really the only explanation that could ever fully makesense. Of course considering all that we know of physics and mathematics, howcould it have been otherwise? A reciprocal negative set of states should extendin some respects beyond zero. There has to be an identical negative side of statespace to balance out the side we are on. There has to be imbalances. And ifthere is a free flowing probabilistic time, which we know exists because weexperience it, then the dominant direction of such time flows away from eachside of any balance toward the big equilibrium state in the middle. Consequently for every matter dominated universe like our own, ultimatelythere has to be a direction of anti-time, where a contrasting version our owncosmos begins from the opposite side of physical reality. Time across this greatdivide begins from an identical imbalance opposite to our own, i.e., the negativeAlpha state, and that cosmos flows in synchronicity with our cosmos toward thesame destination, Omega. There absolutely has to be a truly parallel universewhere stars and galaxies are created from anti-matter rather than matter. Suchideas are awfully profound, but they are just facts of the big picture.Probability Mechanics There are very basic probabilities evident in this model concerning imbal-ances flowing toward balance which we can take a first look at with very littleeffort. This now complete Soaps model is slightly more complicated thanBoltzmanns wedge model, yet we are now working more comfortably withdefinite groups of states, so we can realistically compare the groups of stateswhich are more and less probable. If we start by considering the probabilities of this model from position A inthe diagram below, from Alpha, which is the most positive state in whole spec-trum, we recognize that all other states are less positive than Alpha, including allof the negatively dense states and the negative Alpha. One State All Other States Figure 14.1: From position A there is a 100% probability for time to move toward balance and symmetry (expansion), then at each consecutive stage between A and F that percentage of probability decreases while a new probability grows for time to move backward toward imbalance and grouping (gravity). The direction directly toward zero is accented by the counter probabilities for conditions to move toward increased lumpiness versus increased smoothness adjacent the density gradient.
  • 191. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 177 If we imagine ourselves to be a universe positioned at Alpha, then all otherstates create a large group shown below. If all other states besides the Alphastate form a collective group they represent a measure of probability whichcannot be greater. All probability influencing time at this stage is for an evolvinguniverse to move away from Alpha and pass through lesser dense states towardthe negative side, toward a position of greater balance. Generally reading themodel, this vast set of states acts as a powerful attractor, causing the direction oftime to explode through pattern spaceas fast as the nature of time allowsconditions to change. The decreasingpositive density is invariably caused byan invisible influx of negative densitygiven up by the parallel partner uni-verse, making both sides more neutral. Eventually a universe evolves to position B and then C, which causes twoconsiderably large groups of states to form, rather than just the one large attract-ing group. In addition to the future-like states there then exists a group of statesbehind the present which are more positively dense than the evolved present,forming a small group of past-like states, as shown below. The evolving presentis moving through the Soaps spectrum toward zero, so the past-like states aregrowing in size and hence they begin to exhibit influence over the momentumof time, uniformly pulling backwardagainst the strong flow of time towardzero. That same pull influences internalconditions within the cosmologicalsystem, such as creating the earlyfluctuations in the density of space thatwill later become stars and galaxies. By general rule any evolving universe is influenced by the entire spectrum ofpossible states. No single condition is inherently more probable than another.The probability law which dictates that time moves toward a balance point ispartly based upon this principle. So a system therefore responds to any influen-tial group of probabilities, even its present state contributes to a predetermineddynamic of all the probabilities that influence time. Figure 14.4: Future-like states are those states which are more negative and less positive than the present, a group which is always largest until time reaches zero.
  • 192. 178 | EVERYTHING FOREVER The universe having evolved from point A through F, and finally reachingthe present state shown in figure 14.4 is still dominantly attracted to the largergroup of future-like states (all are more negatively dense than the present), butthere is now a nearly equal group of past-like states attempting to pull timebackward toward Alpha. As a universe evolves ever nearer to zero, that set ofstates grows ever larger and stronger, as shown below. Figure 14.5: Past-like states are those states which are more positive than the present, a group which originally contains only the Alpha state as time begins at the big bang and then grows in measure and influence until it becomes equal to the Future-like group of states. The British astronomer Fred Hoyle wrote, “The thermodynamic arrow oftime does not come from the physical system itself… it comes from the connec-tion of the system with the outside world.” Indeed, time is influenced by thewhole body of all possibilities. Therefore, we mustn’t overlook the fact thatprobabilistically it is possible for time to travel backward, even here in our owncosmos. Time does not have an inherent direction which the entire universeobeys. Time freely flows backward and forward. It flows into more dense past-like conditions and less dense future-like conditions, which is why there are bothdense areas in the cosmos where time has traveled backwards, and nearly emptyareas where time has progressed forward. After the big bang, as the past-like setgrows it also becomes an attractor and stubbornly opposes the more powerfulfuture-like group of states, even though the larger group continues to pull timetoward the negative side of the spectrum, and thus toward zero. We know thisbackward pulling group most commonly as gravity. Gravity is essentially the pastpulling time backward. Probabilistically the future-like directions cancel out a measure of the past-like directions, and what remains is a specific measure of probability for the flowof local time to travel forward and backward. The universe as a whole, only feelsthis backward pull as a global slowing of expansion, but locally or internally theuniverse feels this backward pull in the form of gravity. As Richard Feynman recognized in his sum over histories approach to quan-tum mechanics, all the directions of time sum to a specific set of probabilities. Inguiding the universe toward the specific destination of balance, those probabili-ties necessarily restrict and control what is possible in time, while the remainingfreedom within this measure of control makes room for diversity.
  • 193. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 179 If it were not for the narrowing of pattern space near zero, conditions in auniverse approaching zero might become extremely varied and unstable. A freeflowing time in the wedge model for example would simply decay into chaos. Inthe Soaps model however we recognize the future-like states are always thelarger dominant group so they pull time into a decreasing measure of availablestates near zero. This forces conditions to move increasingly toward the perfectbalance and uniformity of zero in various ways, the most obvious being thebalancing force of electromagnetism. Electromagnetism causes opposite parti-cles to attract and like particles to repel. Electromagnetism constantly works toincrease balance throughout the atomic world. That force or control over whathappens in forward time simply reflects the power and influence of a perfectlybalanced and uniform zero state.Accelerating Expansion The shape of state space near zero does explain why expansion is accelerat-ing, although the reasons aren’t plainly visible. The expansion of the universe isaccelerating for two reasons. Firstly, Omega is a hyper-full space which weapproach in stages. This inevitably requires that our curved space expand orinflate, which is a flattening of space. We necessarily view this expansion increas-ing at an accelerating rate because the final state is perfectly flat and full, whichfrom our perspective is in a state of inflation. But the final state is not inflating,it is simply inflated. Secondly, or at least a detail of the same process, is that themomentum of the cosmos toward zero increases because the measure of statesadjacent our present state decreases considerably as we enter the closing tunnelof pattern space on our way to the single state of zero. Our sense of time is areference to the speed of light which is really a measure of the individual statesthat we evolve forward through, so in converging to zero where there is adecreasing measure of adjacent states in all directions, our sense of time thenperceives accelerated changes in the form of accelerating expansion. It is important, particularly for scientists, to appreciate that some laws inphysics are relative to our position in state space. For example, just because wecannot cool matter to absolute zero presently does not mean the cosmos cannotreach zero in the future. When we cool matter toward zero it maintains anonzero temperature by pulling in energy from its surroundings, but in thefuture the expansion of space won’t allow that neighboring energy to be trans-ferred. Bose-Einstein condensate already indicates that matter and energy canbecome space-like. In the end the curvatures of matter simply flatten out. Just as a pendulum comes to rest at balance, time comes to rest and ends atthe balance of zero. Also like a pendulum, time accelerates away from imbal-ance, but unlike a pendulum the momentum of time slows half way betweenAlpha and zero, then accelerates as it approaches zero. Time doesn’t swing pastzero because the cosmos is essentially the two halves combining together into
  • 194. 180 | EVERYTHING FOREVERone whole, and all energy to swing past zero is spent in the journey, translatedinto space. In a way the physical cosmos is created by the slow collision of bothtime directions, sort of like two pendulums colliding at zero. Figure 13.6: In some ways cosmological time is like a pendulum except the swing down to zero is neutralized by an inverse pendulum swing. Also there are more possible positions at the mid-point of the swing so the momentum of the swing initially slows from potential direc- tions in time adjacent the path to zero, then once beyond the mid-point the momentum ac- celerates as the measure of patterns that surround the present decrease. The groups of past-like and future-like states are in a constant state of flux,always in conflict, each pulling at time. The future causes the universe to expandand balance out while in contrast the past attempts to counter that influence bygravitationally pulling time backward, literally attempting to recreate itself. Thisresults in a tension between the past and future, and so it results in a tensionbetween the two kinds of order. In the clash of time and anti-time, in the battleof two orders, the cooperation and complexity we cherish blooms like a flower. The future-like group invariably remains stronger until time reaches zero, soglobally the ultimate attractor is the one single Omega state itself. In discoveringaccelerating expansion, scientists have found reliable evidence that gravity willnever prove to be the greater force and reverse cosmological expansion. Oncewe discard our assumption that arbitrary forces can exist, we can then appreciateelectromagnetism as the strongest evidence found in nature that time is movingdirectly toward the balance of zero. In fact there is no possibility that gravity willever win the battle and collapse the universe in the future, which can be said truefor our universe as well as all other universes.The Privileged Worlds A main tenet of this book is that Boltzmann invented the ideal method ofunderstanding why the universe is this way; he just wasn’t able to create anaccurate model of all possibilities in the 1800’s. This aggregate model of statesshould feel intuitively satisfying in part because it replaces Boltzmann’s outdatedasymmetric model with a symmetric superstructure. If we look at the presentstate of our own universe, the amount of grouping of matter and the balanceddistribution of galaxies since the big bang is certainly congruent with the river of
  • 195. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 181high probability flowing from Alpha to Omega balanced between smooth andlumpy extremes. This channel of high probability inevitably selects a specialpartition of states that are utilized by the natural flow of time. This special groupis very narrow compared to the whole of possibilities. In probability science thepath through this group is called a basin of attraction. I call this section ofpattern space the many-worlds partition. Figure 14.6: The more probable paths toward zero define a special partition of states, the Many-Worlds partition, identi- cal to the many worlds now predicted by Quantum theory. Probabilistically, all physically real temporal universes must begin from eitherthe positive or the negative side of the overall spectrum of patterns, from apositive Alpha or a negative Alpha, and both directions of time travel inwardtoward the same balance point, with both directions of time ending at zero. Andsince the natural course of time, or probabilistic change, is necessarily alwaystoward the balance of zero, it follows as a universal principle of nature that timein any universe inevitably traces backward and originates from an ever greaterimbalance. We could flash back to the chess game which begins with two players, oneon each side of the board. The game pieces are divided apart from one another.Each side is purely one color, as if their color makes them oppositely natured.Likewise time as we know it begins from one side of the board or the other,originating purely positive or purely negative. In hindsight we could have predicted time begins positive or negative fromthe two kinds of order theory. For any universe fundamentally constructed ofprotons and electrons, the extreme of grouping order would necessarily result inall the positives being divided apart from all the negatives. So the identity of thefirst moment of time would have to choose to be one charge or the other, just asa player of chess must choose one color or the other. We happen to be on thepositive side, although the designation could be negative, as in, we wouldn’tknow the difference of one charge from the other. After all we are not talkinggood and evil here, or normal versus the strange mirror universe, just identicalpositive and negative opposites; the two players of a game called Cosmos. The improbability for an entire universe to vary from the regular course fromAlpha to Omega becomes so great that most of the universe scenarios, eventhough they are imaginable in fantasy, are in fact so improbable that they aregenuine impossibilities. One can recognize that there are scenarios so highlyimprobable that they can be deemed impossible, even being newly introduced to
  • 196. 182 | EVERYTHING FOREVERthis model. The smooth and lumpy paths, and world lines anywhere near thoseextremes, would clearly seem to be probabilistically impossible. But wholecosmological systems turning around and collapsing inward in a big crunchtoward Alpha are without question probabilistically impossible if this model of agreat divide does accurately represent the possible realm. Everything learned in physics and cosmology, all we know of quantum phys-ics and the forces of nature, as well as a trip to a casino, suggest probabilitiessomehow distinctly guide the path of time and shape the world we know. Thatknowledge in modern science, and what we intuitively know in our experienceof chance events, combined together with this model of possible states, stronglyindicates the extraordinary conclusion that worlds outside of those that travelfrom Alpha to Omega within the highly probable many-worlds partition simplydon’t exist, at least not in the same sense that our universe is physically real. Wecan safely conclude that the universe we live in isn’t some fortunate arbitraryfluke of nature. Our universe does not require an absolute chaos of worlds, ormany realms, or even a multiverse of worlds ruled by different laws of nature. Itappears that we are physically real because we are quite privileged. Our ownuniverse is an example of what is naturally probable in respect to the big picture,in respect to the whole of imaginatively conceivable universes. I can explain the basic reason for why the universe expands very rapid at the beginning of time and then slows down, using this diagram, with the sentence length representing the measure of increasing possibilities that exist at each stage. With more words in a sentence it takes longer to read each sentence. Time slows because there are so many more directions for time to travel, in the middle stages. Then once convergence begins there are fewer directions distracting the flow of time away from its general goal of reaching balance, and so slowing expansion turns to an ever increasing rate of expansion simply because the measure of possibilities decrease rapidly near zero.
  • 197. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 183Existence is now, all at once, one and continuous… It is not divisible, since it isall alike; nor is there any more or less of it in one place which might prevent itfrom holding together, but all is full of what is.ParmenidesThe Parmenides Principle Ordinarily we imagine the universe exists only in thepresent. If we take a whole other approach, if instead weimagine that possibilities are actualities, and so all possi-bilities exist in a timeless unchanging way, not simply inan ethereal form but each exists as physically real as anyother, as real as the moments we experience, then, andonly then, do we suddenly have a simple and reasonablesolution to why our universe originated in the past from adense and ordered state. If all the possible patterns of thepast and future exist simultaneously, totally independentof the passage of time, then the history of any temporaluniverse moving through those patterns will inevitablytrace backward to the extreme imbalance, and henceextreme order, of Alpha. We know from Boltzmann’s general approach that the arrow of time is builtinto the realm of possibilities. Time naturally evolves from the improbable to theprobable. That is the very basis of the second law. So then ask yourself why itseems strange to us that time begins in an improbable location? The reason isbecause a non-physical realm of possibilities wouldn’t have any obvious influ-ence upon where some universe pops into existence. So it seems strange thattime began from Alpha, unless…unless all patterns are physically real. Then timewould invariably originate as it does from the greatest imbalance in all of nature,because the direction forward for time is inevitably toward balance. If the direc-tion forward for time is always toward balance, then traced backward, that samepath invariably originates from imbalance. Thus we can conclude that any pathof time embedded within a physically real pattern space would naturally exhibit ahistory that originates from the single most improbable location of all, whichhappens to be Alpha. If pattern space is physically real then the flow of time isbuilt into physical reality, causing probable time worlds to exist, while extremelyimprobable time worlds do not. A similar principle is evident in the way that we write stories in books. If wepick up a book and study the story, we will find a flow or plot that originates inthe front of the book and ends in the back of the book. In order for there to beorderly sensible stories in books, there must be a forward progression or evolu-tion to the story, which is ultimately an evolution of patterns. Likewise, if time is
  • 198. 184 | EVERYTHING FOREVERembedded in a greater space of all physical states, then at any given time that anyobserver examines history, time will be seen as originating from an improbablestate. When that observer examines the future course of the universe, it will befound to be moving toward the most probable state. As it turns out, there aretwo states which are improbable, the positive and the negative Alpha, and onestate which is the most probable, Omega. So a universe like our own that ismore positive than negative (the proton is 1836 times the mass of the electron),will have an increasingly positive origin, finally originating from the purelypositive Alpha. I don’t know of a more compelling argument in support of the idea that thegreater universe exists timelessly. With all the paradoxical problems surroundingany kind of creation event, a beginning to time, and a beginning to existence,there is alternatively one truly simple solution. All possibilities exist. The infiniteuniverse is actualized, not in the form of all time worlds, but rather as a timelessworld of patterns from which we borrow each moment of now. The philosophical premise here is that all possibilities must exist, becausenonexistence cannot be. Existence is inevitable, but what does that mean? Whatis existence? What does exist? First we must at least conclude that whatever ispossible to exist does exist. In this rather natural scenario, we could concludefurther than any actualization of what is possible would be infinite. However, wedon’t need to assume that some chaotic set of time worlds are real, because theexistence of all conceivable patterns satisfies the necessity of what exists to beinfinite. In this case time worlds like our own are real as well, but they are sec-ondary and subject to the more fundamental physical reality of timeless patterns. We actually know that the passage of time must pass through patterns,whether they are ethereal or real, since we know the physical moments weexperience are themselves patterns, so the option that all patterns actually existshouldn’t really seem any more spectacular than the seeming miraculous exis-tence of each moment. We know our universe exists, so the notion that all thepatterns that create time exist independent of time, should in no way seemexistentially absurd. It should seem a necessity. We might also recognize here that a fundamental existence of patterns is avery good thing. That fundamental existence appears to lead to the hierarchy ofatomic elements, stars systems, biological life, awareness and consciousness, andperhaps finally intelligence and wisdom. If time and change were not restrictedto the probability arrow of time built into pattern space then anything couldhappen and would happen. The secondary realm of change would be chaotic.Reality itself would be chaotic because reality, physics, reasoning, is so relative tocosmic structure. The big picture would be chaotic and life would not exist. If time worlds were primary, if they somehow existed independently, insub-ordinate of the probability for balance to ensue in pattern space, then the exis-tence of any one or some set of such universes implies the existence of all
  • 199. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 185imaginable scenarios, since if one universe manages to force its way past theborders of improbability, why wouldn’t all others find the same loophole. We can become ever more certain that a physically real pattern space suppliesa critical foundation for a hierarchy of many-worlds and many minds, as wecontinue to discover that our own universe is an elementary example of whatshould exist, in other words, if the features of our universe are predictable frompattern space. If we continue to discover that we can understand time and manyof the various characteristics of our universe, such as gravity and electromagnet-ism, the proton and electron, the stars and galaxies, as consequences of anaccurate soaps model, then we could reasonably expect that what is possible isby nature restricted to universes like our own.
  • 200. 186 | EVERYTHING FOREVER Modified Photos, Thanks to: Paths © Andrew Kazmierski, Trail Sign © Noah Stryker - fotolia.comWhy is nature so ingeniously, one might even say suspiciously, friendly to life?What do the laws of physics care about life and consciousness that they shouldconspire to make a hospitable universe? Its almost as if a Grand Designer had itall figured out.Paul Davies ~~~When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and lovehave always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they canseem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always.Mahatma Gandhi ~~~…it is the nature of synchronicity to have meaning and, in particular, to beassociated with a profound activation of energy deep within the psyche. It is as ifthe formation of patterns in the unconscious mind is accompanied by physicalpatterns in the outer world.F. David Peat ~~~You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is howimportant you are.Eckhart Tolle
  • 201. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 187"And the truth is that as a mans real power grows and his knowledge widens,ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, butdoes only and wholly what he must do...."Ursula K. Le Guin The Earthsea trilogyChapter FifteenConvergenceHow Could the Future Influence the Past? Imagine you decide to create something complex and beautiful out of woodor stone or metal. Perhaps it is a musical instrument, or a statue, or some kind ofvehicle. Of course no one can instantly transform raw materials into a violin, afine piece of art, or a bicycle. We have to carefully plan and organize and put agreat deal of work into our creation. We have to affect the world around us inspecific ways to make our future creative goal a reality. Essentially we have toinfluence the present in order to make something happen in the future. In thissame way the universe itself has intent, it has a specific goal in mind, a futuredestination, and that future in order to make itself happen has to reach into itspast and influence events. An inevitable future has a wonderful way of making things happen. Imaginethat at exactly noon in one month’s time you will be at the top of the Eiffeltower in Paris. That one point of time in the future is set in place. It cannot beavoided. Imagine it has already happened. But of course you are not aware ofyour predestined future. You don’t know that some distant place is calling toyou and pulling you in that direction. At least initially, everything seems normalbecause your immediate future is still open to the usual range of events. Almostanything can happen early in the month’s time, as long as it’s not something thatwill stop you from eventually making the future journey. Everything seems normal, yet behind the scenes, suddenly your life is any-thing but ordinary. The usual probabilities that govern your life are being redi-rected. Suddenly an event in your life must be designed and planned and madeto happen. Some particular series of events must organize itself in a coordinatedeffort to bring you to Paris. Of course there isn’t just one way to travel to Paris,so behind the scenes, in a very non-local processing of potential events, all thevarious ways of traveling to Paris are probabilistically competing with oneanother. While simultaneously, all the futures in which you don’t visit Paris aredisappearing from possibility. The chance of visiting Paris was always there inyour life as a possible future, but now that journey is the top priority of your life,and consequently the chance of unrelated events happening to you is narrowingdramatically as the date draws ever nearer to your singular destiny.
  • 202. 188 | EVERYTHING FOREVER We can imagine many of the unique events that could arrange and bringabout your future visit. You might just decide you need a vacation and yourspouse conveniently wants to go to Paris. Or it might be that you win the lotteryand want to celebrate. Or you might find a job in Paris. Or your visit might be aplanned romantic interlude with someone you met online who lives in France. Itisn’t difficult to imagine unique scenarios that will bring you to Paris. They mayeven seem endless to an imaginative person. They are all possible here. Ofcourse which specific scenario you experience isn’t important for our discussion.All that is important is how one moment in your future can cause a series ofspecific events to unfold in a way that brings you to a specific place in physicalreality. An inevitable future must shape its own past to bring itself about. If winning the lottery is what brings you to Paris, you must first buy a lotteryticket. Then you must realize you won. And then you must collect the prize. Ifit’s a vacation that brings you to the tower, you will have to accrue some vaca-tion time at work. Your employer will have to approve your vacation. You willhave to plan and schedule the journey. If a romantic interlude is what brings youto Paris, you will have to meet this person ahead of time, and build the relation-ship, and it will have to feel important enough to make the trip seem worth-while. Every possible reason, every possible scenario of you going to Paris willhave to set itself up. And so your inevitable future will need to make dramaticchanges in the course of your life. In that the natural course of time inevitably ends at zero, that one singlemoment of time dramatically influences our lives presently. In the same way thatthe noon event in Paris makes events related to the future more and less prob-able, the destined future for the whole universe, even though it will not occurfor many billions of years, is currently shaping our present. It literally determineswhat is allowed to happen in our present. The condition of Omega must setitself up; it must arrange the past in order to happen in the future. In a strangeway the future has to construct itself. The physical universe has to evolve in away that will allow itself to become the Omega state. So in order for our smallportion of universe to become perfectly balanced and unify with the greaterwhole, the future Omega reaches into its own past to organize events in a waythat will make that one future happen. Synchronicity is an unusually coordinated series of events. You may not no-tice the synchronization of events that carry you to Paris, depending on the
  • 203. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 189makeup of your particular past and present life. You may have always wanted togo to Paris, and may travel regularly around the world or regularly visit Paris onbusiness, so the trip may not seem at all out of the ordinary to you. On the otherhand, Paris may be the last place on the planet that you would visit, or you maynot have the means to go, in which case the arrangement and character of eventsthat convince you, or help you, or force you, to arrive in Paris may seem outlan-dishly arranged. At first the invisible attraction toward the Eiffel tower is mild. Your immedi-ate day to day experience is still rather open to events that are unrelated to theParis journey. In the first week it is not yet necessary for anything out of theordinary to happen, although travel or preparations for the trip are more prob-able than they would be otherwise, while other events which lead you furtheraway from Paris become increasingly improbable as each moment passes. Be-hind the scenes of your life, your predestined future necessarily eliminates allalternative futures. The possibility of remote travel, for example, into the wilder-ness of Alaska, becomes impossible, since it would interfere with the journey toFrance. Perhaps a trip to Alaska was a very unlikely event in your life, but now itis virtually an impossibility in your life. If you were scheduled to vacation in theAlaskan wilderness something will happen to negate such plans. An evolving universe experiences a similar increase in organization and co-ordination due to Omega. When time first launches away from Alpha the imme-diate future isn’t very specific compared to what becomes necessary in the laterstages of cosmic evolution. Initially the potential pathways of time diverge awayfrom Alpha into an expanding or widening parade of possible worlds. We mustimagine here all the different galaxy formations that are possible in the vastexpanse of space we see around us, realizing that what we observe is merely oneof those. But when we begin to consider strange or even highly organized starand galaxy formations, lined up in rows for example, we are outside the bounda-ries of what is possible within the natural flow of time. Even in the first momentof time during the big bang, the attraction of Omega is a dominating force thateliminates the vast majority of possible configurations that aren’t aligned prob-abilistically with the cosmic journey to zero. Figure 15.2. Time paths diverge away from Alpha and converge toward Omega. In a sense the universe knows where it is going from the very first momentof time. So the matter distribution in stars and galaxies throughout the entireuniverse has to be within tolerance of that goal, within the degree of random-ness and freedom of that particular juncture of time. Within tolerance obviously
  • 204. 190 | EVERYTHING FOREVERwould not include being the lumpy extreme or the smooth extreme. Withintolerance means the structure of particles and atoms that govern the stars andgalaxies and matter will eventually produce Omega. For example, there has to bean equal number of protons and electrons in the universe, so that near the endof time a balance between time and anti-time can ensue. All such planning andcoordination is the long arm of the future reaching into the past. Generally, we can see in the trip to Paris analogy that a specific future eventbeing inevitable dramatically increases the probability of some method of travelleading you toward what we have defined as a predestined event. And as thedate of the event approaches, making the journey to France becomes increas-ingly more likely. You might leave early and tour all over the European conti-nent for work or for play, but the probability of each event is aligned with theprecise future moment of noon at the month’s end. If the journey is delayed, and not instigated early on in the month, then fastermodes of travel become ever more probable. A journey to Europe by boat forexample is no longer an option. In fact as time passes, the width of the uniqueevents is dramatically decreasing in your life. A large number of events arecontinuously becoming less likely and finally moving into the impossible realm.Yet the future moment of you standing on the tower is still not dictating aspecific means of travel at a specific time. There are still many different path-ways of getting to France, different airline flights for example, although thecloud of possibilities is ever more shrunken and focused. Finally toward the end of the last week, events in your life become increas-ingly coordinated toward creating your one future. If events earlier in the finalweek had worked against your trip, later in the week events will seem increas-ingly synchronized and planned, as if everything is going your way, as if thewhole universe wants you in Paris. If you don’t have the money for the trip, itwould be a good time to take up gambling. Your destiny is calling you. And themore the defiant or random events occur to resist or divert you away, thestronger forces grow toward aligning you back up again with your course to thetower. If you still haven’t yet left for Paris, at a specific moment, a certain numberof hours before the tower event, all flights except those directly to Francebecome impossible because other routes will no longer get you there in time.Absolutely powerful forces beyond your control now come into play. Someparticular direct course across the Atlantic toward the tower now becomesabsolutely necessary. You might be kidnapped or arrested and extradited toFrance, or your plane traveling elsewhere will be hijacked. And finally, at aspecific point in time, the scenario of you not having left for Paris is no longerpossible. Such worlds don’t exist. In the final hours it is inevitable that you areon your way, because in the future you are already there, so failure is not anoption. Resistance is futile.
  • 205. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 191Listen as the wind blowsFrom across the great divideVoices trapped in yearningMemories trapped in timeSarah McLachlanChapter Sixteen Convergence © Carol TaylorThe Big BloomThe Reason Why Space-time is Systematic and Orderly It has seemed evident for a long time that cosmological expansion was justthe universe coasting outward as a result of the initial explosiveness of whateveroriginally caused the Big Bang. Expansion has been seen simply as a conse-quence of a past event, not a force. An educational page at NASA reads, “Theshape of the universe is determined by a struggle between the momentum ofexpansion and the pull of gravity.” It has also seemed apparent that gravitationwas nature pulling back, resisting the initial explosion, as if to say “this wasntsupposed to happen!” Gravity seems to be nature wanting things returned backto the way they were before all this turbulence, before a bit of something man-aged to escape from an otherwise stable nothingness. The brightest scientists intelligently expected the existence of a timeless per-fect symmetry and they naturally looked for it in our past. The seeming vacuumbefore time was seen by them not as non-existence, but rather as an ultimateharmony or balance with no quantifiable properties, a physically real nothing-ness. In one form of this approach some theorize that gravitational energy isnegative to the positive energy of matter, which from a Gods eye perspectivemeans the total energy and mass of the entire universe is equal to zero. It hasseemed to some physicists that the existence of our universe apparently allcomes down to a inexplicable flaw in the fabric of an un-quantifiable perfectsymmetry which led to a broken symmetry. This tear in timelessness by chanceproduced the few arbitrary constants we needed and the known universe wasborn. Now in this new century and new millennium as we peer more clearly intothe future, scientists are being led toward a new vision, brought on by thediscovery of accelerating expansion. New revolutionary ideas are surfacing as theunknown future is resolving into a distinctly visible future. Now it appears thatcosmological expansion is not merely a consequence of the initial big bangexplosion. All properties of the universe are not simply a consequence of some
  • 206. 192 | EVERYTHING FOREVERexplosion or initial fracture to an ultimate perfect symmetry that once existed inthe past. Which means the universe is not simply winding down from a pastevent. There are other sources of force and energy. There is a force emergent inthe future. Space has an energy of its own. The influence of the future was recognizable even in Boltzmann’s view ofpossibilities, in the attraction of disorder. Under the second law, one is led toimagine there is this huge body of potential disorder and chaos out there pullingtime forward. No one has ever proven a clear connection, but the second lawclearly suggests expansion is a product of the alleged great probability for disor-der and chaos. Expansion allows matter to break apart and then scatter anddisperse. Without the expansion of space, there wouldn’t be a second law. Thedense singularity at the beginning of time would have just remained dense.Instead, with expansion now accelerating it appears there is a newly emergingforce. Space has its own energy, its own force. So we wonder, how is the oldexpansion that was so rapid and powerful at the beginning of time which hasnow decreased to a standstill, related to this new expansion that is acceleratingand growing increasingly more influential? How might they be the same force? I believe we are slowly discovering that the future plays a major role in thebig bang. The universe was never pushed outward toward zero, the universe hasalways been pulled by zero. As we discover the implications of an absolute zerofuture, the most dramatic shift in our understanding of time and the cosmos isthe recognition that we are now being drawn into a decreasing measure ofpossibilities, rather than an ever enlarging body. In fact the direction of time hasbeen facing an ever fewer number of choices for many billions of years. The known universe is like a giant cosmic foundry. It is as if Omega hassomething in mind, a goal and begins with matter heated up in the kiln of Alpha.Then suddenly out comes the universe into the cold air, and as the matter coolsit is guided into shape by the future. Slowly the hot plasma crystallizes intoworlds, galaxies, all shaped by the great powers of grouping and symmetry, bythe past and the future. This foundry is after all timeless. As the original poten-tial of each time line is hammered out the future interestingly becomes itself, asort of cosmic blooming that couldn’t be any other way. What ultimately exists,the greater Universe, the infinite but bounded whole, cannot be changed. Butwhen the whole is understood, who cares. Compared to any other scenario, thisinnate guidance system creates a pretty amazing local universe.Stage One: Divergence - The Increasing Possible Futures In spacetimes evolution toward the balance of zero, there are two uniquetemporal periods of change. The first phase of spacetime; the initial burst ofchange, is the period of Divergence. Divergence marks the period when there isan increasing number of unique pathways for time to move in. When timeaccelerates away from Alpha, it faces a rapidly expanding number of unique
  • 207. LEARNING TO SEE TIMELESSNESS | 193futures. For example, using the trip to Paris analogy, a person in Los Angeles atthe beginning of the month can take a plane and travel in any direction, north,south, east, or west, since every direction generally leads toward Paris. Theymight travel first to Asia or Africa. Initially the variety of possible futures is verywide. Divergence generally defines a period of the universe when what isuniquely possible overall is vastly on the increase. But cosmically speaking,eventually the expanding diversity in the direction of greater balance gets usedup and begins to decrease. Figure 16.1: The upper half of the globe represents the way pathways of time diverge away from one single state; the north pole of time. The lower half of the globe reveals the rest of the story, explaining why time has a definite direction and a consistent nature. All space-time paths, after diverging away from one pole, are bent inward toward a common single inevitable future, the south pole of time. Di